Red alert!

This is a great time of year to spot one of Britain's rarest mammals – the red squirrel.

Red alert!

This is a great time of year to spot one of Britain's rarest mammals – the red squirrel. In fact, although we are more used to seeing their grey cousins, it is the only squirrel species native to the UK. Red Squirrel Week (24 September to 2 October) celebrates the conservation efforts surrounding these characterful mammals, which have declined in number in recent years from around
3.5 million to 120,000, 75 per cent of which are in Scotland.
With the population in England thought to be as low as 15,000, the National Trust's Brownsea Island in Dorset is one of their last refuges. It's a beautiful place for an autumnal woodland walk with stunning coastal views, as well as being an important habitat for red squirrels. Autumn is a busy time for the squirrels, as they can be seen gathering nuts to store in the ground ready for winter.
Find out more at www.wildlifetrusts.org/go-nuts.

Did you know?
• Red squirrels do not hibernate – although they may be less active in bad winter weather.
• They live in a tree-top nest made from twigs, leaves and moss called a drey.
• Red squirrels can be left- or right-handed – watch them eat a pine cone to find out which!
• They are very agile and can hang upside-down and also swim.

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