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Sadly, red squirrels are not a common sight in the UK, which means we don’t often hear about them. But we can get to know these beautiful and elusive creatures in other ways.

That’s why we’ve put together our Top 10 Red Squirrel Facts.

1. Red squirrels are native to the UK and have lived here for around 10,000 years.

2. Red squirrels live in coniferous forests and deciduous woods in Europe and northern Asia.

3. In 2020 the Mammal Society assessed the red squirrel as Endangered in the UK.

4. Red squirrels are mainly vegetarian, usually eating seeds, nuts, bark etc. But they sometimes take animal prey, such as young birds and eggs.

5. Red squirrels don’t hibernate. In autumn, they collect food for winter when they’re less active but remain awake.

6. Red squirrels make more than one drey (nest) in case one gets damaged and to reduce the possibility of it being found by predators.

7. Red squirrels usually have 2-3 young, called kittens. However, only 20-50% of kittens survive to adulthood.  

8. Their orange-red fur can change colour in winter to white, grey or brown.

9. Red squirrels can be left- or right-handed or even ambidextrous.

10. The main threats to red squirrels are:

1) The grey squirrel

2) Habitat loss

3) Squirrelpox

Red squirrel habitat
Red squirrel food
Red squirrel drey
Red squirrel. Photo by donpetroleum
Grey squirrel. Photo by Wild Arena

Reclaiming Reds

After learning about red squirrels, hopefully, you’ve fallen in love with them as much as we have. Sadly, the number of red squirrels in the UK has fallen drastically. Want to help us help them?

Take a look at what volunteering opportunities we offer here: Become a volunteer – Reclaiming Reds