21 Sep 2023

Blog: Get involved in Scotland’s fifth annual Great Scottish Squirrel Survey

Did you know that Scotland is home to around 75% of all the red squirrels in the UK?

They are an iconic species in Scotland’s forests and woodlands but unfortunately also one that is under threat from their larger grey squirrel cousins.

The greys out-compete the smaller reds for food and living space. Grey squirrels can also carry squirrelpox, a virus that doesn’t harm them but is fatal to reds.


Scottish Forestry is one of the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels (SSRS) partners, which is a project led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and supported by many other like-minded organisations. 

The project is working in priority areas across Scotland to protect red squirrels from the spread of the invasive non-native grey squirrel.

Every year, SSRS runs the Great Scottish Squirrel Survey. This is the fifth year it has run and we need your help!

We are looking for all people across Scotland to explore the great outdoors and look out for reds and greys between 2-8 October 2023. (National Red Squirrel Week).

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Anyone can take part in the Great Scottish Squirrel Survey by reporting sightings of both red and grey squirrels throughout the week.

Each sighting creates a snapshot of the situation, helping the project understand how populations are changing over time and to decide where to focus its conservation efforts.

It’s easy to record your sightings – simply visit scottishsquirrels.org.uk and input what you have seen.

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Autumn is a great time to go out looking for squirrels as they are more visible because they are stocking up on food supplies for the winter ahead.  

The Great Scottish Squirrel Survey week will feature a programme of events across the country as well as self-guided opportunities.

More information can be found at scottishsquirrels.org.uk/great-scottish-squirrel-survey