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.
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.
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.
Your donation could help fund:
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.
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 is crucial to monitoring the impact of our work and knowing where to focus our efforts. For instance, survey data has shown us which areas have been successfully recolonized 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.
Contact us to find out if a survey is taking place near you.
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. Contact your local red squirrel Conservation Officer for more information.
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.
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.
To find out more about volunteering opportunities in your area, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, check out our current vacancies on the Scottish Wildlife Trust website.
If you live in South Scotland, you could join a local red squirrel volunteer network. Contact us for more information, or visit the Red Squirrel Forum for South Scotland to find out what's happening in your area.