Not many of us are lucky enough to have red squirrels in our local area let alone visiting our gardens. The well documented decline of our native squirrels shows that most of England is now devoid of these fluffy tailed characters. With the effects of deforestation and the introduction of the grey squirrel in Victorian times – the once abundant red squirrel population in the UK is now restricted to vastly fewer numbers mainly resident in Scotland.
With those fortunate to be in an area where the red squirrel is still in residence, a little supplementary feeding can help in times when their natural diet may be sparse – the most important seasons being summer and winter. The best foods are those that they are likely to encounter whilst foraging in the wild, with favourites such as hazelnuts in their shell, and pine nuts, alongside fruits such as apples. A good variety of food helps to relieve problems such as calcium deficiency which can be an issue for juveniles. You will find a vast range of fruit and nuts suitable for feeding squirrels on our website along with our dedicated mixes for red squirrels and grey squirrels who’s diets are quite different.
A squirrel feeder placed at a reasonable height (5-6ft) in a place where an easy escape route (preferably via trees) should they be startled or a predator be close by, is a great way to provide that little extra that the squirrels need in a relatively safe place. Feeding just a small amount of red squirrel food on a regular basis will be sufficient to provide a healthy snack without creating a dependency on artificial food sources which could prove harmful should these sources suddenly disappear. We supply general squirrel feeders as well as a specialised red squirrel feeder that prevents grey squirrels from stealing their food.
Adding a squirrel nest box in a mature tree at least 15ft high may attract a family to move and breed in the garden. As stated above, our need to remove dead and dying trees from the countryside is making suitable nest sites harder to find and we find a well sited squirrel nester is quickly adopted and may be used for many years in succession.