Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel Surveys

Red squirrel receive full protection in the UK. It is an offence to intentionally or recklessly:

  • kill, injure or take a red squirrel;

  • damage, destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place which a red squirrel uses for shelter or protection (a drey); and

  • disturb a red squirrel when it is occupying a structure or place for that purpose.

In the UK the strongholds for red squirrel populations are Scotland, northern England, north Wales and Anglesey, and Northern Ireland, with Scotland holding perhaps 70% of the UK population. Large commercial conifer plantations appear to favour the red squirrel over the grey squirrel, which generally out-competes the native red squirrel and also harbours the squirrel pox virus. Grey squirrels appear to have developed a degree of immunity to this virus, but can remain carriers of the infection which is almost 100% lethal to red squirrels which die within a few days of being infected.

Although red squirrel are absent from large areas of southern Scotland and northern England, particularly in areas where grey squirrels are present, if you have significant areas of woodland on your site and there is likely to be development within or close proximity to the woodland, particularly if tree felling is required, then a red squirrel survey is likely to be required.

There are a range of survey methods available for red squirrel from simple visual observations of animals and their dreys through to more resource intensive trail camera and hair-tube surveys. Reuben is able to advise what will be the most appropriate survey method for your development and able to draw on many years of experience to undertake the survey.