You do not need to travel far to see one of these furry critters; they live on all continents except for Antarctica. Tree squirrels are the most common of these rodents, jumping from branch to branch, their bushy tails keep them on course. Squirrels live in tree hollows or nests made of leaves, twigs and grass, and eat nuts, acorns, berries and flowers. In some parts of the world, squirrels are hunted for their fur and meat. In Great Britain, Italy and Ireland, numbers of the red squirrel (pictured) have decreased drastically in recent years, a decline associated with the introduction of the eastern grey squirrel from North America in the 19th century, although habitat loss is also a major factor.

Crib Notes:

  • Squirrel Nutkin is a character, always illustrated as a red squirrel, in English author Beatrix Potter’s books for children.
  • The smallest is the African pygmy squirrel, which measures only 12.7 centimetres (5 inches) from nose to tail.
  • The Indian giant squirrel, on the other hand, grows to almost 1 metre (3 feet) long.

Time of year: The British weather is notoriously changeable, but the best time to visit would be between April and early June or in September or October.

Destination: The Bulkeley Hotel in the picturesque town of Beaumaris is working with the project to let visitors learn about red squirrel conservation. Built in the 1830s the Georgian building offers panoramic views of the Menai Straits and the Snowdonia mountain range beyond. The Beaumaris area has a large red squirrel population and the Red Squirrels Trust Wales will launch a new red squirrel trail this autumn.