Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Often we see these creatures as vermin, and they are occasionally described as tree rats. The reality of it is much more than that, these fluffy bundles actually help spread seeds which sustains and expands plant communities and ecosystems. National Squirrel appreciation day, 21st January, was started as a way to educate the general public about these vital beings.
Red squirrels are native to Britain, however in the late 1800’s grey squirrels were introduced as an ornamental species and subsequently the population fell. This was primarily due to grey squirrels carrying a disease which doesn’t affect them, but does affect their red counterparts.
Whilst this day usually goes unnoticed, there are many things that you can do to help out our fury ‘friends’. Putting out additional food or water, preferably in a corner away from the rest of your garden, means they are more likely to stay away from your prized plants. You can also purchase squirrel-proof bird feeders, which encourage squirrels to stay away from other wildlife.
Whether you love them, or hate them, they are here to stay for good. They often forget where they bury seeds and nuts, meaning that many of the trees that we admire may have been created by these forgotten supplies. Next time you see a well-established tree, remember these tiny creatures and the way they may have started off.