The Great Scottish Squirrel Survey

This Red Squirrel Week we’re calling on people all over Scotland to get outdoors, explore nature and be on the lookout for tufted ears and bushy tails for the return of the Great Scottish Squirrel Survey. Report your sightings of both red and grey squirrels between 20-26 September to provide us with a snapshot of the situation.

What makes the Great Scottish Squirrel Survey so great is that anyone can take part from anywhere in Scotland. Areas of known squirrel territory are equally important as those where few squirrels have been seen before. You can view all our previous sightings records here.

Last year over 2100 people reported 3160 squirrel sightings in just one week. Let’s make this year’s survey even greater!

Report your sighting

Kids worksheet



Infographic showing 3 steps to taking part - go outdoors, see a squirrel, tell us about it


Find out more

SSRS has been collecting public squirrel sightings since 2010, and last year we received a record-breaking 21,910 verified sightings with the help of the Great Scottish Squirrel Survey. The data not only improves our understanding of how squirrel populations are changing over time, it also helps our team take direct conservation action.

With the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and suspension of our annual spring survey, public sightings this year are more important than ever. Each squirrel sighting reported during the Great Scottish Squirrel Survey will provide a detailed snapshot of the current situation on the ground.

Reporting a squirrel sighting is one of the simplest things that anyone can do to help protect Scotland’s red squirrels. Red Squirrel Week (20-26 September) is the ideal time for a nationwide squirrel survey. Autumn is a fantastic time of year for squirrel spotting— they are often more visible than usual as they busily gather food, preparing themselves for the colder months ahead.

By taking part you’ll be doing a small act to help protect one of Scotland’s most iconic yet threatened species, while joining in a mass citizen science event.

Each sighting we receive is verified by a member of our team before being added to our online sightings map. We anticipate that the data collected during the Great Scottish Squirrel Survey will be verified, collated and published by December 2021.

View 2020 Great Scottish Squirrel Survey Results 


Share your stories

Share your Great Scottish Squirrel Survey photos and stories with us by using the hashtag #GreatScottishSquirrelSurvey. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter and facebook for the latest Great Scottish Squirrel Survey news.


Get involved

There are a variety of outdoor and online events happening throughout the Survey week, check out our events page for more details.


If you are a member of a community group, wildlife organisation or visitor attraction in Scotland you could help us spread the word or even host your own Great Scottish Squirrel Survey event. You can find out more in our campaign toolkit and contact us to discuss.

Campaign toolkit Event poster templates