Types of squirrels in the UK

If you live in a house it is easier to find different animals living near you. Some of them can be very dangerous like centipedes or spiders, while some can be peaceful, and they do not disturb you as squirrels. However, when squirrel population are not controlled, and their growth is unmeasurable then you might have to be at risk.

Squirrels are peaceful animals that live peacefully and coexist with us, but sometimes this can become too much as they get accustomed to humans and that is when trouble starts to emerge. In their search for food, they can be more aggressive than usual and damage your property, or just being a nuisance for you and your family.

Types of Squirrels in the UK

Firstly, we need to talk about the types of squirrels that exist in our territory. It is safe to say that you have seen them but particularly not paid attention to them, which is normal. This rodent wins the heart of people because of their friendliness and approach towards humans. Although they are not the same, and you have to talk about them according to their type, which we will discuss here.

Grey Squirrel


These come from America originally, and were introduced to the land in the 18th century. Their growth has been so big that as of now they outnumber the red squirrel population, which is endangered.

In terms of their appearance, these types of squirrels in the UK are plain greyish or brownish, even though grey is the colour that prevails. Their tail goes up to almost 25 cm long. It is very fluffy and full of fur. Their body is not as long as their tail, but they can reach up to 23 cm tall. If you want to know if one is a female or a male you cannot distinguish them at plain sight, and their weight is almost half a kilo.

Their lifecycle can be explained in them having two broods a year. Young squirrels have only one a year, but older squirrels can have two, according to the season. After they have gone through the 12-month stage they can start to reproduce.  Each litter has at least three juveniles, sometimes they are four. As a rodent, they are born without fur and blind, so their mother has to nurse them at least for 8 weeks before they can start eating solid food, although the normal time is after the 10 weeks of the birth. Their life expectancy is six years, and most of them stop breeding by the time they reach their 5th year.

They live in forest areas where they can find big trees to climb and also a source of food. This source has to be complete because of their diet. Although they prefer places with a lot of forage, they can be seen in urban areas such as parks or closed neighbourhoods.

These types of squirrels in the UK have a very common diet. Their main food is seeds, which they gather while jumping from one tree to another. These are walnuts, oaks, hazelnuts, among others. When their needs are not met, they can go and find provisions of their own from bird feeders leaving them without food. They can also go into your backyard raiding whatever their find for their survival. Also, they like to tear a tree’s bark to get to the deep part of it and consume its nutrients.

Their behaviour is not reckless. They tend to have different food hideouts where they can have access to it. Sometimes they can be just temporary, as predators can also be on the lookout for food, which they will pretend to hide and then leave to the correct spot. This is why people say that they are smart mammals, by misleading their predators and confusing them.

Red Squirrels


They come originally from the UK, unlike grey squirrels that come from America. It is sad to say that as their population has diminished a lot because of different things, they are now endangered and require to be protected.

They are smaller than grey squirrels. They can go from 20 to almost 25 cm counting their heads and body. Their weigh is just above a quarter of a kilo and their tail just gets as long as their body. Their signature characteristic is their particular red colour that covers their body and their fluffy tail. Which, in this type of squirrel in the UK is the best tool to do many things, from jumping to balancing. The tail tends to be a little darker than their body fur.

Their habitat has been invaded by grey squirrels, so places like woodlands are not preferable, however, they can be found there and even in mountainous areas. The Isle of Wight is the preferred space for them, and they can be seen dangling around the trees.

Their diet is pretty simple, like their behaviour. They tend to look for seeds and breech or hazelnuts. If they cannot find things like those, they might go and eat some insects as they love them and are very nutritious. Although their diet is preceded by seeds, they can eat dead rabbits or mice and young birds, however, this may not be the case all the time.

Privacy is one of their main characteristics. They dislike sharing their food with any other animal, or even from their group. Squirrels build nests where they stay if they are not seeking for food or just want to be off a predator’s sight.

Remember to take care of this animal if you see it since they are protected under the Wildlife and Conservation Act of 1981.

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