Introduction

Wild Time

Spring

Feel the beat of spring

Be dazzled by bluebells

Harken to a bittern's boom

Seek a swooping sand martin

Pen poetry among daffodils

Sway with dancing grebes

Get sent packing by a grouse

Take a ringside seat

Track down a tiger

Watch a rare sky dance

Chatter with a natterjack

Enjoy the great rush north

Look up in awe

Shine a light on newts

Eavesdrop on a nightingale

Go spotting early orchids

Follow a sat-tagged osprey

Gape at hunting hobbies

Nurse a passion for purple

Scour riverbanks for Ratty

Tip-toe among fritillaries

Summer

Hail the success of avocets

Go batty as night falls

Bewitched by a buttercup

Play the summertime blues

Thrill to damsels and dragonflies

Go after Dartford warbler

Make a splash with gannets

Stake out a badger sett

Hurrah for the king

Rejoice in Manxie's chorus

Delight in a glow worm

Fall for THE fastest bird

Be spellbound by orchids

Journey to a seabird city

Exalt at a skylark's song

Party with the puffins

Lounge with a lizard

Haunt a churring nightjar

Head seawards on safari

Discover the rare spoonbill

Join the toadlet exodus

Spot our largest butterfly

Wear a hat for terns

Hunt woodland beauties

Autumn

Admire our eager beavers

Marvel at migration

Forage for Autumn's bounty

Go nuts over squirrel nutkin

Ramble through purple

Gaze in awe at reds' rut

Wander in the wild wood

Cheer on the salmon run

Try a wild goose chase

Foray for fungi

Winter

Pay homage to the Russians

Go on a winter ghost hunt

Wonder at wintering waders

Fall in love with a seal pup

Hear Britain's tallest bird

Revel in roosting wagtails

Kiss beneath mistletoe

'Ooh' & 'aah' at murmurations

Lie in wait for an otter

Rock 'n' roll with geology

Wrap up for a raptor roost

Go nuts over squirrel nutkin

Red squirrel © Mike Snelle

Red squirrels are at their most visible during the autumn as they forage and cache nuts.

Like most wild animals, red squirrels tend to be shy of people. So keep as quiet as you can. A good first place to look is on bird feeders!

With distinctive russet fur, tufted ears and twitching tail, a red squirrel is a captivating sight.  Autumn is a great time to see them as they forage for nuts and pine seeds to cache for the winter months.

Once a common animal across the country, the red squirrel has disappeared from great swathes of the country. The introduction of the grey squirrel from North America caused our native red squirrel to go on the retreat, perhaps due to direct competition from the larger American, but also due to the introduction of the ‘squirrel pox’ virus, which can cause local populations of red squirrel to die out altogether. In England, red squirrels only survive on the Isle of Wight and Brownsea Island, where there are no greys, on the Formby coast and in the extensive pine forests of Northumberland and the Lake District. Things aren’t much better in Wales, although Anglesey has recently been declared grey squirrel free. Scotland and Ireland are where the red squirrel now has its main strongholds. The total UK population is now thought to be as low as 120,000 animals, of which more than three quarters are found in Scotland.

How to do it

If you can’t get to the special places listed below…The Wildlife Trusts are partners in red squirrel conservation projects in Scotland , mid Wales and northern England .  Visit the project websites to find out more about this endearing threatened native.

Special spots

Most visitors to Brownsea Island , Dorset are guaranteed a sight of one of the 200 red squirrels on the island - one of only two populations in southern England. Red squirrels are more active in the autumn when they are nearer the ground, foraging for food.

Aberdeenshire, Gight Wood,

County Antrim,  Glenarm Nature Reserve

Cumbria, Smardale Gill and  Wreay Woods ,

Dumfries and Galloway, Stenhouse Wood,

Isle of Wight,  Bouldnor Forest (There are no grey squirrels on the island - red squirrels can be seen year round)

Lancashire, Freshfield Dune Heath ,  

Moray, Spey Bay,

Northumberland,  Hauxley  reserve, Druridge Bay.

Northumberland, Holystone North Wood

Northumberland, Holystone Burn

Northumberland,  Tony’s Patch

Perthshire,  Loch of the Lowes (See them from the visitor centre or at an organised event)

Red squirrel © Harry Hogg

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