Radiant redheads are only found in certain areas of the UK, which is why The Wildlife Trusts are working to protect them - and encouraging you to help too.

As they forage nuts to cache for the winter months, autumn is a great time to see red squirrels. Listen out for their chattering call while you are out in the woodland or forest, and look out for the gnawed husks of cones - watch out for them raining down from above!

Red Squirrel Week (Sat 24 Sept – Sun 2 Oct) is a great time to look out for distinctive russet fur, tufted ears and a twitching tail; red squirrels are a captivating sight

The red squirrel is the only squirrel species native to the UK. Once a common sight, red squirrels have declined rapidly since the 1950s. They continue to be threatened by disease, the loss and fragmentation of woodland habitat and competition from the more robust grey squirrel.

Numbers in the UK have fallen from around 3.5 million, to a current estimated population of around 120,000, of which 75% or more are in Scotland. There are only a handful of refuges left for red squirrels in the UK and the population in England is thought to be as low as 15,000.

Conservation efforts include establishing buffer areas around the strongholds with control of grey squirrels, ongoing monitoring, helping landowners to improve habitat for squirrels, involving local schools and communities and using forest planning to maximise the value of forests for squirrels.

Strongholds remain in the Scottish Highlands and borders, Fermanagh and the Glens of Antrim in Northern Ireland, Anglesey, Clocaenog and the Tywi Forest in Wales, and Northumberland and Cumbria in northern England. There are some isolated populations in southern England including Formby in Lancashire, Brownsea Island in Dorset and on the Isle of Wight.

There are lots of ways to get involved, including volunteering, donating or surveying - through coordinated community action there has been an increase in red squirrel numbers in and around these stronghold areas, and together we must ensure that continues.

Find out more about red squirrels, places to see them, how we're helping and how you can get involved by using the links provided or buttons on this page.

© Mark Hamblin