Looking after red squirrels at Allan Bank
Once a popular sight in England and across the UK, and the UK’s only native squirrel species, the red squirrel is now suffering a major decline. Since the introduction of the North American grey squirrel in the 1870’s as an ornamental species, numbers of red squirrels have dropped from around three and a half million to an estimated 120,000. It’s thought that there are around 15,000 red squirrels in England, and happily some of those call Allan Bank and Grasmere their home.
Allan Bank is a great place to see our native red squirrels. So many visitors have loved being able to follow the comings and goings of these adorable little animals. You can use our binoculars in the Study to spot one of them on the feeders outside or you could take a stroll along the garden path to see if you can catch sight of one along the way.
Squirrels naturally eat green acorns, seeds, nuts and pine cones; in the autumn they cut green pine cones from trees and store them in the ground for winter feed. At Allan Bank we supplement our red squirrels’ diet by putting out a small quantity of monkey nuts and sunflower seeds every morning into our special squirrel feeders. This helps us to monitor the population and keep an eye out for any sick or injured squirrels – and also means that you’re much more likely to see one!
We work hard alongside the Grasmere Red Squirrel Group to make the grounds at Allan Bank their ideal home, spending over £900.00 on feed every year. With your help we can continue to protect our native red squirrels in Grasmere and throughout the region, by working with and supporting our local red squirrel groups. Please donate online to our Lakes Red Squirrel Appeal.
Thank you for your support.