Red Squirrel - Wildlife of The Lake District

The red squirrel is native to the woodlands of The Lake District and one of the few remaining areas where the animal can still be seen and found. Red squirrels are an endangered species that have been suffering a steady decline in numbers since the grey squirrel arrived in Britain. Although grey squirrels are increasing their population, there are still large numbers of red squirrels found within northern areas of the National Park.

Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) running along branch

When faced with competition from grey squirrels red squirrels survive best in large numbers in coniferous woodland. Red squirrels need a constant supply of diverse food such as seeds, nuts, berries, cones, buds, shoots, flowers and occasionally insects. The length of a red squirrel is 180 – 240 mm long with a tail of up to 175mm. Their tails act as a heat source in the winter to aid their balance and communication. Active during the daytime the squirrels make nests in a tree fork or a hollow. The nests are made using soft hair, moss and dried grass.

Red Squirrel

Red squirrels are quite elusive and are most likely to be see in Lake District woodland, in particular Whinlatter Forest and Dodd Wood. We’ve also seen them at the front of the café too where a project at Allan Bank is running a project to help protect them.