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Isle Of Wight Red Squirrel Hotspots To Look Out For This Easter

(c) Vicky Outen

Easter is a particularly good time to look for red squirrels on the Isle of Wight as natural food sources are becoming more abundant and they are anxious to build up their strength and fat reserves after winter.

As well as eating they are also strengthening their drays, either in readiness for breeding or, for early starters, protecting their new-born kits. 

The Isle of Wight is one of the few areas in England that enjoys a permanent red squirrel population and below are locations where you are likely to see them over the Easter break.

You should follow the countryside code and preferably don’t take dogs with you as the squirrels will see them first and rapidly disappear.

Be quiet and take all litter home.  Don’t forget to pack your binoculars as reds are likely to be up in the tree canopy.

Vanessa Fawcett, campaign director of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust, explains:

“There are approximately 38,900 reds in England and the Isle of Wight is a significant stronghold.

"Easter is so important as a good breeding performance helps protect and grow the local population.

“We want to encourage people to look for them in the wild but do not approach too closely and please, if you take your dog, keep it on a lead. 

"A major threat to them is the non-native grey squirrel, many of which carry a pox that is harmless to them but almost inevitably fatal to our native reds."

Members of the public who see reds are being urged to report any sightings here.

Locations where you may see red squirrels on the Isle of Wight

Alverstone Mead Nature Reserve Complex

This is one of the best sites for red squirrels on the island.   This group of reserves is managed by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.  It is home to a thriving red squirrel population where you can see them leap from tree to tree from a dedicated squirrel hide.

Osborne House

Formerly Queen Victoria’s summer house where the beautifully maintained grounds and woodland make the perfect home for red squirrels.  Enjoy the house, grounds and Queen Victoria’s private beach while keeping your eyes peeled for some reds.

Robin Hill Country Park

Lots of family activities and the woodland is a haven for red squirrels but you will have to be very quiet to see them.

The Garlic Farm

Popular with foodies and you might be lucky enough to spot a red or two.

Borthwick Copse

A beautiful National Trust location and home to reds but you will need your binoculars.

Newport to Cowes Cycle Track

From the heart of the island to the north coast and these quiet surroundings make the perfect red squirrel spotting environment.

Shanklin Chine and Village

This pretty area is well worth a trip with the added benefit that you may spot some reds.

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