Red squirrels’ body size is up to 25 cm, with the tail measures adding a further 20 cm. They are significantly smaller than the more abundant grey squirrel. Red squirrels have fur which varies from fine russet or chestnut colour in summer to dark brown or even greyish in winter, although there is a great deal of variation in individual coat colours. Bleaching can occur of the ear tufts and tail. They also have a white belly and pointed ear tufts, which are a distinctive feature of red squirrels. In winter, the ear tufts are more prominent.
Once common throughout the UK, red squirrels have disappeared from many areas of England and Wales and are threatened in Scotland and Northern Ireland. They are now largely confined to Scotland, areas of North and Mid Wales, Northern Ireland and parts of England (Northumberland and Cumbria still have good populations), Brownsea Island and the Isle of Wight.
The three focal populations in Wales are on Anglesey, in the Clocaenog Forest in north Wales, and our population in mid Wales. Other, smaller pockets may persist but their long term future is unknown.