Skip to main content

Squirrel Monitoring Programme

Volunteer Setting up trail cam


We established a squirrel monitoring programme in spring 2012. This large scale systematic survey is repeated each year in spring. The work samples 300 woodlands and gardens across northern England, using the same methods in the same places each year. Surveys are carried out using trail cameras, by walking through woodlands and recording squirrels seen, or by observing squirrel visits to garden feeders.

We have completed our annual monitoring programme once again in 2018. This is the 7th year running we have done this, with the help of over 160 people, 87% if which are volunteers. A fantastic achievement once again!

Overall reds were detected in 42% of 290 sites surveyed in six counties: Cumbria, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Tyne & Wear, Lancashire and Merseyside. This is a slight drop on the previous year, but still demonstrates that red squirrels are still widely present across the north. grey squirrels were detected in 48% of surveys, a 5% rise compared to 2018. 

We are not overly concerned by results...populations of wild animals natural fluctuate, and we are pleased to be documenting this in red and grey populations, within areas of northern England, in what is one of the biggest citizen science projects in mammal conservation in the UK. 

We were also pleased do be able to document red squirrel range in a massive 350 2 x 2 km squares! We were able to create a map of this distribution from data sent in from members of the public, from our own staff and from other organizations, including community red squirrel groups, during the period March to May 2018.  

Click on the attachment below to read the report in full. If you would prefer a slightly shorter read, download the Monitoring Summary Report 2018 instead.