Animals & Attractions

See the free ranging wild red squirrels at our feeding station in Wolf Wood. Up to a dozen different red squirrels visit for food every day!

FACT FILE 

  • Red squirrels are known for their striking orange-red fur, but their colouration can in fact vary from ginger to brown. Their fur can slightly change in winter too, which is also when their characteristic ear tufts develop
  • Native red squirrels are a lot rarer in the UK than grey squirrels
  • Red squirrels are native to the UK and have lived here for around 10,000 years
  • Red squirrels can be left- or right-handed or even ambidextrous!
  • They have an exceptional sense of smell, and can find food buried underneath a foot of snow. They can even sense a rotten nut without having to open it!
  • Squirrels make more than one drey (nest) to reduce the risk of it being found by predators and in case one gets damaged. They will abandon a drey if it has too many fleas or has become waterlogged
  • Red squirrels need woodland to survive and can be found in coniferous, broadleaved and mixed woodland. They were once found across the UK, but have disappeared from most of the country due to the introduction of grey squirrels. Now, red squirrels are confined to Scotland, pockets of northern England and Wales and small islands off England’s south coast. The species can still be found across much of Ireland, but its range is shrinking there too
  • The main threats to red squirrels are grey squirrels, habitat loss and Squirrelpox. Grey squirrels have displaced the reds from most of their former range by outcompeting the reds for territory and food supply. Grey squirrels also carry and spread the lethal parapox virus to red squirrels, which the greys are immune to. Fortunately there is a growing interest in the plight of our red squirrel and you can also help by reporting sightings of red and grey squirrels

HOW WE'RE HELPING

As a wildlife conservation charity, we care for the animals here at the park and work to protect species at risk around the world. From providing expertise in genetics and veterinary health to protecting wild places with local conservation partners, and even restoring threatened species to the wild, we are active where we are needed most.

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