Trees for Life

Red Squirrels Return

Red squirrels are at risk of extinction in the UK, but Trees for Life’s pioneering Red Squirrels Return project will significantly expand their population and resilience. Reintroducing red squirrels to four carefully chosen Highland woodlands will help this much-loved species to survive and thrive.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 12:00 PM, 22 April 2022 to 12:00 PM, 29 April 2022

Registered Charity in Scotland (SC021303)

Check mark Match funded

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Championed by The Big Give Trust


  • AnimalsAnimals
  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation


  • General Public/HumankindGeneral Public/Humankind
  • OtherOther


United Kingdom


Significant numbers of these iconic woodland mammals have been decimated by the gradual reduction of their native forest home to isolated fragments. Red squirrels are also struggling to survive against competition and lethal disease from non-native grey squirrels. To overcome the threat of extinction, red squirrels need to find woodland havens beyond the range of greys where they can thrive once again. But they can't make these journeys across vast open spaces without our help.


This charismatic species of the Caledonian pinewoods can be saved with your help. Trees for Life has already reintroduced red squirrels to several locations in the Scottish Highlands, where they have been successfully breeding and spreading into more expansive areas. The project will also help restore Scotland’s native woodlands, benefitting many other species, as red squirrels plant new trees by sometimes forgetting where they have buried their winter stores of nuts and seeds.

  • "It's about 50 years since Red squirrels were last seen in Skye and Lochalsh, so the project to reintroduce them to this part of Scotland is really exciting and holds all kinds of possibilities."

    — Willy Roe