Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels has been working hard since 2009 to ensure red squirrels continue to have a home in Scotland. Our efforts are making a difference — in many of our project areas red squirrels are already beginning to make a comeback.
However, there’s still a lot to do. With the help of our volunteers, we are monitoring red and grey squirrel numbers across the country, managing the spread of grey squirrels in strategic areas, and inspiring community action to ensure the long-term survival of our native species.
We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers. There are all sorts of other ways to get involved in the project, from food abundance surveys to helping with administrative work to volunteering your time at our events. Below is a list of just some of the things you can do to help.
Seen a squirrel? We want to hear about it! We welcome reports of red and grey squirrel sightings from anywhere in Scotland. All sightings are valuable, whether they’re from your back garden or the wider countryside. Once verified these sightings will be added to the Scottish Squirrel Database, a national record of red and grey squirrel distributions which helps form the basis of our long-term plans for red squirrel conservation.
Red Squirrel Week 2019 marked our first ever Great Scottish Squirrel Survey. This annual event saw people all over Scotland actively exploring outdoors on the lookout for squirrels to help provide us with a detailed snapshot of the situation. To find out more about the survey and how you can get involved in future events, please visit the Great Scottish Squirrel Survey campaign page. Sightings from the most recent survey can still be reported by following the link below.
If you create an account with our Community Hub, you can also keep a personal record of your squirrel sightings.
Your donation could help fund:
- Standardised annual surveys to monitor red and grey squirrel populations across project areas
- Annual testing for the spread of the Squirrelpox virus through grey squirrel populations in Scotland
- A team of Red Squirrel Conservation Officers, Grey Squirrel Officers and a Community Engagement Officer dedicated to protecting key red squirrel populations with the help of landowners and volunteers
- Campaigns to spread the word about the lives of red squirrels, the problems that they face and the wider appreciation of Scotland’s wildlife and work to protect it.
Donations to the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project are processed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
Choose A Specific Appeal to ensure your donation goes toward protecting Scotland’s red squirrels.
Scotland’s native red squirrels need your help! Only around 120,000 remain here in the wild, and without urgent action they could be lost forever. By adopting one you will be helping to secure the future of this beautiful and endangered animal.
Your adoption pack (fulfilled by the Scottish Wildlife Trust) will include a certificate, fun factsheet, a selection of stickers and either a red squirrel print by photographer Steve Gardner or a soft, cuddly red squirrel toy.
Get involved in some citizen science! Every spring we rely on local volunteers to help us complete squirrel surveys in our target areas.
The knowledge we gain from these surveys helps us monitor the impact of our work and know where to focus our efforts in the future. For instance, survey data has shown us which areas have been successfully recolonised by red squirrels after the project has carried out targeted grey squirrel control.
Survey volunteers are asked to look after some of our squirrel feeder box hair-traps over the course of 6 weeks in March and April. The hair samples collected will then be analysed to provide us with presence/absence records of both species.
Take action for red squirrels where you live by joining our trap-loan scheme.
We are protecting Scotland’s red squirrels through targeted grey squirrel control in key strategic areas. For our work to be truly effective, we need to build a landscape-scale network of trapping in those places.
Whether you have a small back garden or a vast estate, you can contribute to a unified effort to prevent the spread of grey squirrels into areas where red squirrels are currently thriving, and reduce the risk of squirrelpox outbreaks in your local area.
There are a number of ways to get involved in our trap-loan scheme at different stages of the process. All our volunteers are provided with the support and training they need to participate.
Landscape-scale community action is the key to the long-term survival of Scotland’s red squirrels.
The project is supporting red squirrel networks across our priority areas. The networks are led by enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers, working together to protect their local red squirrel populations. Local networks across South Scotland are also supporting each other under the banner of the Red Squirrel Forum for South Scotland.
The help of landowners, foresters and gamekeepers is crucial to the success of Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels. Landowners in certain areas can control grey squirrels under Forestry Grant Scheme funding, or join the project’s trap-loan scheme.
Our Conservation Officers are working to help make red squirrel conservation easy for landowners in our target zones, offering detailed assistance with funding applications for grey squirrel control, as well as a trap-loan scheme with training and support for those ineligible for funding.
We can also provide advice on habitat management to benefit red squirrels.
You can also view our current volunteering vacancies on the Scottish Wildlife Trust website