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Top places to spot red squirrels

Red squirrel on the feeder at Allan Bank, Cumbria
Red squirrel on the feeder at Allan Bank, Cumbria | © National Trust Images/Michael Hirst

Red squirrels are thriving in many of the places in our care thanks to careful conservation and habitat management. Autumn is the best time to see them with fewer leaves on the trees, making them easier to spot as they gather food ahead of the winter. Here are some of the best places to find them.

Aira Force, Lake District
We carefully manage the woodland at Aira Force to make it an ideal home for red squirrels.  Keep at eye out for the feeders placed along the footpaths to the waterfall. The best time to spot them is early in the day or late afternoon when there are fewer people around.Go squirrel spotting at Aira Force
Allan Bank and Grasmere, Lake District
Working in partnership with Grasmere Red Squirrel Group, the team at Allan Bank have created a safe haven for red squirrels by introducing feeders. Borrow the binoculars in the Study to take a closer look as they grab a bite to eat or hop across the lawn.Go squirrel spotting at Allan Bank
Allen Banks and Staward Gorge, Northumberland
At Allen Banks the red squirrels tend to spend their days in the treetops, on the lookout for snacks. Keep your eyes peeled as you walk through the woods and you might be lucky enough to spot one.Go squirrel spotting at Allen Banks
Borthwood Copse, Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is free of grey squirrels, meaning that roughly 3,500 red squirrels live here. Head to Borthwood Copse where the population is thriving. You can also see them in the woodland around Newtown, across the Mottistone Estate and in the Forestry Commission’s Parkhurst Forest.Go squirrel spotting at Borthwood Copse
Brownsea Island, Dorset
Brownsea Island is a haven for wildlife, including red squirrels. You should find them easy to spot as they live here in large numbers. They're particularly fond of the island's pine trees and you'll often see chewed pinecones on the woodland floor.Go squirrel spotting at Brownsea Island
A close up of a red squirrel on a branch on the floor of woodland on Brownsea Island, Dorset
A red squirrel exploring the woodland floor at Brownsea Island, Dorset | © National Trust Images/James Dobson
Castle Coole
The red squirrels at Castle Coole are a playful bunch. Catch a glimpse in the play park or explore the beech walk where they run and jump from tree to tree.Go squirrel spotting at Castle Coole
Castle Ward
Red squirrels were successfully introduced into the Castle Ward estate over winter 2022/23. The site has ample woodland and is free of grey squirrels, so they have plenty of space to roam. Look out for them around the feeders.Go squirrel spotting at Castle Ward
Cragside, Northumberland
Listen out for the rustle of leaves on a walk through the woodland and see if you can spot a red squirrel or two. Remember to look up – red squirrels love to hide out in the canopy.Go squirrel spotting at Cragside
Crom, County Fermanagh
Red squirrels are thriving at Crom thanks to an unlikely alliance with another native species, the pine marten. Keep your eyes peeled as you walk through the woods on Inisherk Island or head into the wilderness of the Cuiliaghs – a haven for wildlife.Go squirrel spotting at Crom
A red squirrel balances on the thin branch of a tree while holding onto the trunk in the woodlands at Wallington.
A red squirrel at Wallington, Northumberland | © National Trust Images/Norman Scott
Florence Court
Catch a glimpse of sprightly red squirrels at Florence Court as they pop up all over the estate. Listen out for them stirring in the trees above as you explore. The best places to look are along the walk from the Visitor Centre to the house, pleasure grounds and play park.Go squirrel spotting at Florence Court
Mount Stewart, County Down
Mount Stewart is one of the best places in Northern Ireland to see red squirrels. You're most likely to spot them early in the morning or late in the afternoon, behind the house and to the north of the lake. Make the most of the Squirrel Hide to watch them in action.Go squirrel spotting at Mount Stewart
Plas Newydd, Anglesey
You'll have a great chance of spotting red squirrels at Plas Newydd, home to the largest population in Wales. They can often be spotted throughout the gardens and woodland, particularly in Church Bank Wood and along the edge of the Menai Strait.Go squirrel spotting at Plas Newydd
Wallington, Northumberland
The team at Wallington have been working with Red Squirrels Northern England since June 2012 on a major conservation project to save the red squirrel population. With dedicated support they're now thriving. Keep an eye out during a walk round the estate to see if you can spot them.Go squirrel spotting at Wallington
A walker has just crossed a wooden footbridge over a stream, amid dense woodland, at Dibden Bottom on Ibsley Common, New Forest Northern Commons, Hampshire

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