Welcome to the Fife Regional Network Group
Here in Fife, we’re very fortunate to have red squirrels on our doorstep. This iconic and now threatened animal can be seen from Devilla Forest in the west all the way to Tentsmuir Forest in the northeast, and at numerous woodlands in between. That said, the red squirrel is quite elusive, so you have to listen out for it – and look up!
The Fife Red Squirrel Group aims to support the conservation of red squirrels across the Kingdom. The voluntary group was constituted in 2014 and focuses on monitoring, surveying and awareness raising. We welcome new members at any time.
Fife is not a priority area nationally for red squirrel conservation because grey squirrels are so widespread in the region. For this reason Fife has had it’s own grant-funded projects.
Where to go red squirrel spotting
One of the best places in Fife to see red squirrels is Ladybank Forest. Comprised of several blocks of woodland surrounding Ladybank town, it boasts plenty of paths and lots of Scots pine trees. South Annsmuir to the east of Ladybank is said to be a particular hotspot.
Other woods include Pitmedden, Falkland estate, Shell Bay and Blairadam. But do look out for them in more urban areas too: red squirrels have been spotted in Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Cupar and St Andrews!
Devilla Red Squirrel Trail
A short and pleasant circular walk, park in the Forestry Commission car park off of the A985. The trail starts to the left just beyond the gate and is signposted. If you don’t spot any ‘real’ squirrels, see if you can find the others! There are also fingerposts and panels with interesting snippets of information en route.
Falkland Red Squirrel Trail
Another short circular walk which starts at the Pillars of Hercules car park in Falkland. You can take rubbings along the way (bring paper and crayons) from beautiful copper etchings made by local schoolchildren.
Help us look after our red squirrels
You can help protect your local red squirrels in a number of ways:
Report your squirrel sightings
Send in your squirrel sightings. This helps us build an accurate picture of where reds and greys are, which helps us target our conservation work.
Take part in surveying and monitoring
Adopt a squirrel transect and help us monitor one of Fife’s squirrel populations. This involves walking a marked woodland route three times in the spring and three times in the autumn. Or you can share the transect with a friend if six walks a year is too much. If you’re able to help, we’d love to hear from you.
Help us raise awareness
Take part at events such as agricultural shows and family fun days by manning stands and helping us spread the word about our local red squirrels, the threats they face, and what can be done to protect them.
Become a member of the Fife Red Squirrel Group. Five pounds a year will help us continue to raise awareness about our native red, survey and monitor populations, and support conservation initiatives.
Help prevent the spread of grey squirrels
If you’re a landowner or have a garden – especially around priority sites for red squirrels – you could consider controlling grey squirrels. This is best achieved through live trapping and humane dispatch. For more information, please contact us.
Please also refrain from feeding the grey squirrel. You’ll help to prevent the spread of this introduced species as well as disease. The grey squirrel is one of the biggest threats to our native red.
If there are only red squirrels where you live, find out how you can help them with supplementary feeding by reading the advice note.