Native Red Squirrels

They live in broadleaved and conifer woodlands and forests eating, nuts, pine and spruce seeds and berries.  They build a nest (drey) high in a tree with leaves and sticks, often where a large branch meets the trunk.

In most of England you can now only see the introduced grey squirrel.  This larger relative was brought here from North America and can out-compete the red for food and also carries a virus that can be fatal to reds.

Planting woodlands that favour red squirrels and controlling grey squirrels where they are threatening reds mean that we are still able to see reds here.  Sightings of either species can be reported on the RSNE website which will help with red squirrels conservation. http://www.rsne.org.uk/sightings

Where to see them

The best time to see them is in spring and autumn when there are fewer leaves on the trees.  Hareshaw linn, Holystone woods and Simonside (Harwood) forest are good places to try. Look for nibbled pine cones and cracked hazel nuts.