Red squirrels have struggled to survive for hundreds of years even before the Grey squirrels were introduced. They were fighting disease well before the Grey squirrel could be blamed for introducing it.
Both the Red and Grey squirrels have been hunted mercilessly by gamekeepers and foresters. Both the Red and Grey squirrel will strip bark in the early summer and will occasionally take the odd egg or chick for food.
Up until the 1920s Red squirrels were officially hunted and killed in large numbers in the New Forest. One "squirrel club" in Scotland killed over 80,000 between 1900 and 1930.
It is unfortunately illegal to keep grey squirrels in captivity. You need a licence from Natural England / DEFRA to do so. They are currently unwilling to issue any licenses for them to be kept in captivity or be released back into the wild.
We believe that it is not illegal to help escape a squirrel trapped in a building, fallen down a chimney or similar situation. Please seek advice from Natural England in these circumstances.
If you find a sick or injured squirrel please take it to your local veterinary centre.Follow us!