Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels

How you can help

Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels is working hard to protect Scotland's remaining red squirrels from the threat of extinction; however, we cannot continue this vital work without the help of people like you. From submitting a red or grey squirrel sighting to volunteering, making a donation or taking part in our trap loan scheme, there are plenty of ways to help out. The list below is just a starting point.

Scotland’s native red squirrels need your help! Only around 120,000 remain here in the wild, and without urgent action they could be lost forever. By adopting one you will be helping to secure the future of this beautiful and endangered animal.

Your adoption pack (fulfilled by the Scottish Wildlife Trust) will include a certificate, fun factsheet, a selection of stickers and either a red squirrel print by photographer Steve Gardner or a soft, cuddly red squirrel toy. 

Click here to adopt a red squirrel

Your donation in support of Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels (processed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust) could help fund:

  • Regular testing for the squirrelpox virus amongst grey squirrels
  • Focused surveys to monitor red squirrel populations across Scotland
  • A team of Project Officers dedicated to protecting red squirrel habitat with the help of landowners and volunteers

Click here to make a donation and choose " A Specific Appeal" to select the Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels project

We welcome reports of red and grey squirrel sightings from anywhere in Scotland. All sightings are valuable, whether they be from your back garden or the wider countryside, and once verified these sightings will be added to the Scottish Squirrel Database - a national record of red and grey squirrel distributions which helps form the basis of our long-term plans for red squirrel conservation.

Click here to submit a squirrel sighting

If you find a dead red squirrel at any time, it can be sent for post mortem to find out what the cause of death was. If the squirrel looks obviously diseased, please also contact your nearest SSRS Project Officer in case there is a need for more information or follow-up action.

Even a healthy looking red squirrel that has been killed by a vehicle, for instance, can be useful for the team at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies as part of their long-term study of diseases and parasites in Scotland's wild-living red squirrels.

A copy of our guidance on how to package and label the squirrel carcass and the address to send it to can be downloaded here: Squirrel Post-Mortem Guidance Note. Please follow the directions carefully to ensure your parcel reaches its destination intact.

CAUTION: Please wear disposable gloves or put your hand into a polythene bag to handle dead squirrels!

We need volunteers to help us complete targeted spring surveys to detect squirrels in areas where it is important for us to have current knowledge. For instance, we may wish to detect whether red squirrels have recolonised areas once the project has carried out targeted grey squirrel control activity.

Volunteers are asked to look after some of our squirrel feeder box hair-traps to provide us with presence/absence records of both species. This information is essential for building a record of our project's success.

Contact your nearest Project Officer

The help of landowners, foresters and gamekeepers is crucial to the success of Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels.

We aim to establish a network of landholdings all working together to achieve red squirrel conservation through grey squirrel control and integrated habitat improvements. Achieving a unified approach will help us form a barrier against the spread of grey squirrels and develop environmental foundations to help red squirrels thrive and increase in number.

Our Project Officers are working to help make red squirrel conservation easy for landowners in our target zones, offering detailed assistance with funding applications for grey squirrel control, running a trap-loan scheme with training and support for those ineligible for funding, and giving advice on habitat management to benefit red squirrels.

Contact your nearest Project Officer

Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels is grateful for the support of numerous volunteers, with roles ranging from monitoring to assembling squirrelpox testing kits. For more information on volunteer opportunities near you, contact your nearest Project Officer.

You can help with a number of simple but vital tasks at the Scottish Wildlife Trust's headquarters in Leith, such as assembling squirrelpox testing kits or survey packs or  data entry.

Contact your nearest Project Officer

Can't find what you're looking for? For more information on Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels, contact us at

This year's sightings


Project partners 

Scottish Wildlife Trust Forestry Commission Scottish Land and Estates
Scottish Natural Heritage Red Squirrel Survival Trust RSPBHeritage Lottery Fund