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Squirrel Appreciation Day

21 Jan 2019

Everyone loves a red squirrel, adored by people across the country with their russet red furry coat, large ear tufts and twitching tail. 


For nearly 10,000 years this once common mammal has been a part of the UK’s natural heritage, providing inspiration for art, literature and culture. Some of the more well known references are Squirrel Nutkin a character in Beatrix Potter’s books for children, and Ratatoskr, a red squirrel in Norse mythology who runs up and down with messages in the world tree.

These approachable and beautiful animals are so captivating; they are one of the jewels at Pensthorpe Natural Park, and we have been passionate about them and their conservation for over two decades.

So busy and full of personality, the squirrels that make up our captive breeding group are given individual names, and sometimes we have one or two particularly bold ones that approach the wardens at the call of their names. 

Each year the kittens are given names with a different letter, that relate to nature in some way, and we are already thinking of interesting, insightful, indicative names beginning with…you guessed it…the letter I.

The work of the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust and the East Anglian Red Squirrel Group, has been very successful, with many kittens over the years released on the Isle of Anglesey as part of a managed release programme, bringing the population on the Island from 40 individuals to over 700 now living there! We hope the fortunes of the small population in Clocaenog forest in Denbighshire, North Wales will be the next to benefit from our support. 

As well as providing squirrels for releases where possible, the resident, ravishing redheads at Pensthorpe continue to captivate and enthral our visitors, who can learn about the conservation in action of this endangered British species.