Red Squirrels

cute looking red squirrel at www.rspp.orgIn the mid-seventies, when I was about four or five, I went to Canon Hill Park in Birmingham with my Gran to feed the squirrels. My Gran lived in Edgbaston so we were quite near and it was only a short bus ride on the blue and cream bus which I loved travelling on when I visited her.

We had bags of peanuts and had to whisper when the squirrels came up to get them. My Gran told me that there weren’t many red squirrels left so I was lucky to see them. I’ll always remember how darling beautiful they looked with their bushy tails, tufty ears and bright eyes. I wanted to stroke them but she held me back because they were wild animals.

Another cute looking red squirrel at www.rspp.orgGran said the red squirrel was becoming rarer because the grey squirrel was vicious, though smaller, and would fight the gentle red squirrel. Also the grey squirrel was dirty and rooted in bins and was foreign (which I think was the biggest crime for my xenophobic Gran).

I haven’t seen a red squirrel for years except on TV, though I see plenty of grey ones. They are almost completely wiped out of Britain. The Red Squirrel Protection Partnership (where you can report sightings of the red) have launched a campaign for pest control of the grey squirrel in Northumberland. The only way to enable the red squirrel species to survive, they say, is to control the spread of the grey squirrel. See the recent BBC video.


Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room

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One Response

  1. hi

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