6 Fun Facts and Activities for Red Squirrel Awareness Week

Red Squirrel Awareness Week is held every autumn and is a chance to celebrate a very cute creature native to the UK. Red Squirrels are Britain’s only native squirrel species and have been in rapid decline since the 1950's. Numbers in the UK have dropped from an estimated 3.5 million to 120,000, with the majority of them now living in Scotland. Red squirrel decline is associated with the introduction of the Grey Squirrel from North America which carry parapoxvirus and is fatal to reds but does not affect greys. Red squirrels have also been affected by habitat loss as they prefer pine woodland and therefore, they are restricted to northern England and Scotland. 

You can find a list here of wild locations where you would most likely spot these beautiful animals but if you are looking to find a red squirrel in Kent you will only be able to see these sweet little creatures at Wildwood Trust in Herne Bay

In an effort to protect these sweet little creatures, “buffer areas” have been established around strongholds to control grey squirrel populations surrounding them and preventing them from accessing the red's habitats. Reintroducing squirrel predators, such as pine martens is being trialled to reduce grey squirrel populations, pine martens find it easier to catch greys than reds as they are bigger and slower than their red counterparts. 

In celebration of our native red squirrel, here are some fun facts and activities you can do at home or at school, suitable for children aged 3+ and big kids too!

  1. Red squirrels are not always red; sometimes they can be black, brown or even white in colour. 
  2. Baby red squirrels are called kittens.
  3. Red squirrels can swim and hang upside down!
  4. They can live to six years of age.
  5. Reds don’t hibernate; in winter they rely on food that they have previously buried and they can locate their food supplies in over 1 foot of snow. Amazing! You can test to see if your memory is as good as a red squirrel using this woodland acorn hunt game
  6. You can find a fun squirrel colouring sheet here.

Red squirrels have made their home at Wildwood Trust in Herne Bay but if you are looking for some other great wildlife days out in Kent then check out these animal parks that aid conservation.





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