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Autumn Is the Best Time to See Red Squirrels

Autumn, once the leaves have started to fall and nuts and seeds have dropped to the floor, the native red squirrels become particularly active in woodland areas as they feed voraciously to put on weight before the onset of winter – and they are easier to spot.

As well as eating they are also storing food in underground caches which, if they can remember where they are, will also supplement their winter diet. Neither red, nor grey squirrels hibernate but they are less active in extremely cold conditions.

Many areas in the UK enjoy a permanent red squirrel population and you are likely to see them when out walking in the Autumn. Further details can be found on the Red Squirrel Survival Trust’s website: rsst.org.uk

Please follow the countryside code and preferably don’t take dogs with you as the squirrels will see them first and rapidly disappear. Be quiet and, of course, take any litter home with you. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars as reds are likely to be up in the tree canopy.

Vanessa Fawcett, campaign director of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust, explains: “There are an estimated 287,000 reds in the UK with approximately 38,900 in England. It is essential that we are extremely careful when going out to watch them and do nothing to harm the woodlands in which they live. The greatest single threat to them is the non-native grey squirrel, many of which carry a pox that is harmless to them but almost inevitably fatal to our native reds. We would be grateful if any red squirrel sightings are reported via rsne.org/report-sightings/ kor alternatively you can download the red squirrel sightings app.

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This story was published on: 01/09/2023

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