The red squirrel, the original 'Squirrel Nutkin' of Beatrix Potter fame, is one of our favourite British mammals but it is declining in numbers and classified as an endangered species.

Territory

The favourite habitat of the red squirrel is a large, mature Scots pine wood but they will also live in deciduous woodlands. The squirrels live mostly high up in the trees and build nests, dreys, in the forks of branches. Often two or three dreys are in use at any one time; these may be close together or wide apart, depending on the squirrels' range. Males may live in an area of up to 17 hectares (the size of 34 football pitches). In the winter and early spring squirrels of all ages and both males and females may share dreys but only if their territories overlap and they feed close together i.e. they know each other. Drey sharing usually stops in late spring and summer when the females are raising their young.

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