Perth & Kinross Red Squirrel Group

Friends of PKRSG

red squirrel in birch tree, image © Jimmie Reid

At PKRSG we believe it entirely appropriate to actively promote businesses and organisations we believe are making a positive contribution to red squirrel conservation across the region. To that end, we will be featuring on this page those organisations we believe are worthy of a round of applause for their efforts and of course your custom.

If you are aware of an organisation that actively supports red squirrels or work for one and wish to be involved, please let us know.

Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry

Atholl Palace Hotel logo

Originally opened as the Athole Hydropathic in Victorian times and overlooking wooded parkland grounds, the highland town of Pitlochry and the hills beyond, the Atholl Palace Hotel has made an outstanding contribution to red squirrel conservation. In addition to putting up feeding stations for the red squirrels that frequently visit the hotel’s award-winning gardens, ‘interpretation’ panels about the reds have been installed giving visitors the chance to learn more about the animals. Many a guest has been thrilled to see the squirrels feeding or scampering across the lawn in front of the hotel!

 

Cluny House Gardens, Strathtay

flower petals, Cluny House Gardens

Cluny is an organic mature woodland garden overlooking the Strathtay valley in the heart of Perthshire. As a result of the many different species of conifers and broad leaved trees within the garden, red squirrels have been present for many years. Now due to increased feeding with pine nuts, peanuts and hazelnuts the population has increased and it is usually very easy for visitors to the garden to see red squirrels.

The garden itself supplies the squirrels with more natural foods such as fungi, seeds, berries, nuts, cones, blossom and even Coltsfoot leaves. Visitors are often absolutely thrilled to see red squirrels scrambling around the base of the widest conifer in the United Kingdom – a magnificant giant sequoia!

 

Duchally Country Estate, Auchterarder

Duchally Country Estate logo

Duchally Country Estate is set in twenty-seven acres of parklands and is surrounded by some of the most spectacular and picturesque landscapes of Perthshire. Located in the heart of Scotland, the mountains, glens, lochs and rivers – all easily accessible to guests – offers dramatic and breathtaking views.

In 2006 the Estate eradicated the greys that had begun to take over and built 7 feeding stations for the now expanding red population. In addition guests can learn more about red squirrels via an information board and many have been delighted to encounter this iconic species on the feeders or in the trees when walking through the grounds.

 

Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder

Gleneagles Hotel logo

The Gleneagles® Hotel is situated in 850 acres of beautiful countryside in the heart of Perthshire, where wildlife is in abundance in a variety of forms. Since 2006, the resort has been monitoring sightings of both red and grey squirrels, with positive feedback.

The story really started during 2004, when a woodland walk was created within the grounds, incorporating bird and squirrel feeding areas, allowing guests to observe Perthshire wildlife from screened panels.

The red squirrel population has increased, from sporadic sightings a few years ago to now being a daily occurrence. This is partly down to the resort’s encouragement to attract them, with several feeding stations being erected in locations where there have been sightings. In addition, feeders are provided to encourage the squirrels to stay within the grounds and not venture onto the nearby roads.

 

Kilgraston school, Bridge of Earn

Kilgraston School have led the way in putting their beliefs into action – the school doesn’t just pay lip service to red squirrel conservation, they practice it every day. Since April 2011 when a red squirrel was discovered in the school grounds, Kilgraston has been running a conservation project (with a little help from PGRSG) which has been embraced by staff and students alike. Feeding stations have been errected, grey squirrels controlled and all this fully explained to the students – from the nursery children right up to those studying for highers. That lone red has now become a growing colony with successful breeding taking place last year and baby reds regularly seen running up and down the trees!

 

Scone Palace, Scone

Scone Palace logo

Scone Palace, just outside Perth, is currently the home of the Earls of Mansfield. Fifteen hundred years ago it was the capital of the Picts. In the intervening centuries, it has been the seat of parliaments and the crowning place of the Kings of Scots, including Macbeth and Robert The Bruce. It houses an outstanding collection of antiques, paintings and rare artifacts and the grounds are renowned throughout the world. And in those grounds visitors can now see red squirrels thanks to the efforts of the Estate.

Unfortunately there are a large number of grey squirrels in the woods and surrounding area (which fan out from Perth city) though these are being controlled on the Estate to reduce the numbers in competition with the red’s. In addition red squirrel feeding stations have been installed which do not allow the heavier grey’s to access the food and a marked ‘squirrel trail’ guides visitors to the areas where reds are often seen. Once was recently spotted in the old King James Sycamore tree, right beside the palace itself!