Ten secret red squirrel spots

Brownsea Island, Dorset

The entire island is a nature reserve and home to many wonderful birds and beasties, including sika deer, grey heron and little egret. The red squirrel is well looked after here, and it is one of the few places in southern England where you can find them.

Parkhurst Forest, Isle of Wight

You're bound to spot some bushy-tailed reds here, either on the Hamstead Heritage Coast or further inland. Parkhurst Forest has a squirrel hide ideal for picnics while you wait for the shy squirrels. You must be quiet and watch carefully to spot them...

Newborough Forest, Anglesey

Islands away from the mainland help conservationists protect the red squirrels, which is why they are great places to look for them. Newborough Forest is part woodland and part beach, so you can spot a squirrel or two while making a sandcastle!

Formby Forest, Merseyside

You won't find many red squirrels in the centre and south of England but the north of England and Scotland is their stronghold. Just outside Liverpool, Formby is another nature reserve for reds. Check out their scent-marking behaviour!

Snaizeholme Red Squirrel Trail, Yorkshire

Taking you through the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Widdale Red Squirrel Reserve, the trail includes some breath-taking scenery and a special red squirrel viewpoint mid-way along the walk.

Whinlatter Forest Park, Cumbria

Set in the Lake District, the Whinlatter Forest Park is another nature reserve so red squirrels feel quite at home! Listen out for their 'chuk-chuk' call, it means they've been startled and you should go quietly.

Glenariff Forest Park, County Antrim

Called the 'Queen of the Glens', Glenariff is a spectacularly picturesque setting for red squirrel watching! Set along the many forest trails are waterfalls, bridges and some stunning views.

Galloway Forest Park, Dumfries and Galloway

Not only is this forest a red squirrel priority woodland, but it is also the biggest forest park in Britain so don't get lost! Red squirrels don't hibernate so bury nuts in the ground. See if you can spot one digging at the base of a tree!

Craigvinean Forest, Perthshire

Don't miss The Hermitage, a picturesque woodland walk in Craigvinean Forest, complete with waterfalls and towering trees. If you're looking for a quiet spot to take in the view and spot a red squirrel, this could be it!

Glenmore Forest Park, Highlands

Set in the heart of the spectacular Cairngorms National Park, the forest is several centuries old. Much of the forest ground is covered in rich purple heather, so keep your eyes peeled for scampering red squirrels!

Remember that red squirrels are wild, even though they look friendly. They're very shy so don't try to pick them up or you might frighten them. 

Image: Anne's Creations Flickr

If you've spotted any red squirrels or if you've visited any of these places, comment below and let us know!

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