Close up of hands holding conifer cones, some eaten by squirrels


Here you’ll find all the information and support you need to volunteer with Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels. We’ll be adding more content as the project progresses.

SSRS Volunteer Handbook

SSRS Community Hub volunteer user guide


Community Hub how-to videos

Community Hub Overview

Volunteering and the Community Hub







The survey takes place between March and April and is carried out in 2km squares of woodland called ‘tetrads’. Each tetrad contains four feeder boxes filled with bait ­— usually a mix of peanuts, sunflower seeds and whole maize. On the underside of the lid we place a small sticky tab. When a squirrel opens the lid to access the food, the sticky surface will pick up a few of its hairs.

Volunteers must visit each feeder box in their tetrad four times during the survey period. They’ll refill the box with fresh bait, collect the hair sample and replace the sticky tab. It’s pretty straightforward! The hair samples are then returned to Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels for analysis.


Survey how-to videos

Step 1: preparation

Step 2: pre-survey visit







Step 3: collecting hair samples

Step 4: returning hair samples








Spring Survey Health & Safety

Spring Survey data sheet

Spring Survey protocol – North East

Spring Survey protocol – Tayside

Spring Survey protocol – Argyll, the Trossachs and Stirling

Spring Survey protocol – South


Useful Links

SSRS YouTube channel

SSRS publications page

Community Hub FAQs


Have a question?

Contact us