This January, go nuts for squirrels! On the 21st January it’s Squirrel Appreciation Day, so let’s look at squirrels in the UK and get to know if they’re the gardener’s furry friend or foe…
Squirrels naturally plant seeds as they store them away underground. Those not collected eventually grow into trees, thus assisting with forest renewal. For this reason, we could think of them as nature’s gardeners!
At this time of year, squirrels may struggle to get by as food sources become more scarce and buried food may be inaccessible due to frozen ground. Supporting your local squirrel populations can be tricky, especially when they may cause a nuisance in the garden. Ensure food stocks don’t build up, or they can move in, but understanding their habits and habitats will go a long way to making sure you strike a balance in your green spaces.
Squirrels are quite extraordinary creates, they can leap across a space ten times the length of their body.
According to the RSPB, populations are currently estimated at approximately 140,000 red squirrels and 2.5 million grey squirrels. Red squirrels populations are present in forests in Scotland, Northern England, the Isle of Wight, islands in Poole Harbour, and even in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Although squirrels have a bad time of it, with a few modifications to your planting methods and a few deterrents, our gardens can live in harmony with these nutty neighbours. So, this January, appreciate squirrels for their seed-spreading, insect-eating habits instead.