Easter Walks to Spot Reds

Feb 9, 2024 | General News


Easter is a particularly good time to look for red squirrels in various locations in England and

on Anglesey as natural food sources are becoming more abundant and they are anxious to

build up their strength and fat reserves after winter. As well as eating, they are also

strengthening their drays in readiness for breeding or, for early starters, protecting their

new-born kits. The Red Squirrel Survival Trust has detailed over 20 walks on Anglesey,

Cumbria and the Lakes District, Formby, the Isle of Wight and Northumberland.

They urge red squirrel spotters to follow the countryside code and preferably don’t take

their dogs with them, as the squirrels will see them first and rapidly disappear. Be quiet

and take all litter home. Don’t forget to pack binoculars as reds are likely to be up in the

tree canopy.

Vanessa Fawcett, campaign director of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust, explains: “Easter is

very important as a strong breeding performance helps protect and grow local populations.

There are approximately 38,900 reds in England and on Anglesey. A major threat to them is

the non-native grey squirrel, many of which carry a pox that is harmless to them but almost

inevitably fatal to our native reds. If members of the public do see reds, we would be

grateful if they would report any sightings here


Locations where you may see red squirrels are detailed below:

1) Cumbria and the Lakes

Red Squirrels are often spotted around Windermere but to improve your chances of seeing

them head to woodlands at Claife Heights and Grizedale Forest. Other areas where you are

more likely to see the red squirrels are:

Allan Bank, Grasmere

The National Trust’s Allan Bank is a good place to spot red squirrels. This Grade II listed

building was once the home of William Wordsworth but is now a relaxing spot for visitors to

enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Dodd Wood, Keswick

Perched above Bassenthwaite Lake, Dodd Wood is a great place for spotting all kinds of

wildlife including red squirrels and, at the right time of year, osprey.

Smardale Nature Reserve, Kirby Stephen

Walk along Smardale Gill and onto Smardale Viaduct where you might be lucky enough to

spot red squirrels running alongside you in the trees.

Whinlatter Forest, Keswick

This is a popular red squirrel spotting destination. There are feeders on the trees along the

walking trail from the visitor centre.

Greystoke Forest, Penrith

Another popular spot for red squirrel spotting but, for the best chance, head to the areas of

larch trees or Scots pine and take some binoculars to see high up into the canopy where you

are more likely to see the reds.


2) Freshfield Reserve, Formby

Formby’s sweeping pinewoods are home to the reds. This National Trust location is famous

for its reds, that are accustomed to being fed and are very tame – excellent for


3) Anglesey

Thanks to careful conservation, Anglesey has become a stronghold for red squirrels. Areas

where you are likely to see red squirrels are:

Llyn Parc Mawr

One of the best locations in Newborough to catch sight of red squirrels.

Nant y Pandy – the Dingle Nature Reserve

Regular red squirrel presence due to the nurture and stewardship provided by local

volunteers. This venue is used by the BBC Springwatch/Wildlife crews for filming, alongside

local volunteers. Take a pocketful of hazelnuts and walnuts, sit and be patient. There are

feeding stations on the pathway.

Newborough Forest

This location hosts a thriving red squirrel population with regular sighting reported. It is

close to Newborough beach and this red squirrel hotspot is one of the most easily accessible

on Anglesey.

Plas Newydd

This National Trust property boasts its own red squirrel woodland. There are several feeders

around the estate that the reds visit regularly, making Plas Newydd one of the best locations

to see them on Anglesey.

Pentraeth Forest

Although it boasts a healthy population, the sheer size of the forest makes spotting reds

challenging. You will need your binoculars.

Penrhos Country Park, Holy Island near Holyhead

A good location to spot red squirrels with regular sightings reported.

There are feeding station that the red visit regularly and many are used to human company.


The above are a selection of red squirrel locations on Anglesey but there are many other

locations where regular sightings are reported.


4) Locations Isle of Wight

Areas where you are likely to see red squirrels are:

Alverstone Mead Nature Reserve Complex

This is one of the best sites for red squirrels on the island.

This group of reserves is managed by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

It is home to a thriving red squirrel population where you can see them leap from

tree to tree from a dedicated squirrel hide.

Osborne House

Formerly Queen Victoria’s summer house where the beautifully maintained grounds and

woodland make the perfect home for red squirrels. Enjoy the house, grounds and Queen

Victoria’s private beach while keeping your eyes peeled for reds.

Robin Hill Country Park

Here there are lots of family activities, and the woodland is a haven for red squirrels but you

will have to be very quiet to see them.

The Garlic Farm

Popular with foodies and you might be lucky enough to spot a red or two.

Borthwick Copse

A beautiful National Trust location and home to reds but you will need your binoculars.

Newport to Cowes Cycle Track

From the heart of the island to the north coast, these quiet surroundings make the perfect

red squirrel spotting environment.

Shanklin Chine and Village

This pretty area is well worth a trip with the added benefit that you may spot some reds.


5) Northumberland

Areas where you are likely to see red squirrels are:

Hauxley Nature Reserve

Red squirrels are often spotted using the feeders near the car park at this Northumberland

Wildlife Trust reserve.


Red squirrels are spotted regularly at this National Trust Property at the bird hides and

around the gardens. It is estimated there are 150 reds at Wallington.

Kielder Forest

Reds can be seen, year round, in Northern Europe’s largest man-made forest. It is estimated

that at least one third of England’s red squirrel population lives here.

Hareshaw Linn, Bellingham

This SSSI is within the Northumberland National Park and is home to a permanent

population of red squirrels. Other locations with the national park that have red squirrels

are Holystone Woods and Simonside Forest.

Howick Hall Gardens and Arboretum

The ancestral seat of the Earls Grey and home to Earl Grey Tea, this is an excellent place to

watch red squirrels in the arboretum. Here there are more than 11,000 trees creating ideal

conditions for the reds.

East Cramlington Nature Reserve

The healthy population of red squirrels in this area is a tribute to the Cramlington and

District Red Squirrel Group. One of its members, Leon Savage, was the Red Squirrel Survival

Trust’s Volunteer of the Year in 2022. Look out for the two Squirrel Bridges that span the

busy B-road.


Full details of the walks can be found on the Red Squirrel Survival Trust website:

Easter walks to spot red squirrels


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