Red squirrel on the rise after decades of decline

A survey of 300 sites across northern England found the number of red squirrels increased by 7% in spring 2013. Credit: PA Wire

The number of red squirrels in the UK is on the rise after decades of decline, according to a new study.

Numbers sharply declined in the UK from a high of around 3.5 million to 120,000, with the population thought to be as low as 15,000 in England, mainly due to the introduction of the grey squirrel from America.

A survey of 300 sites across northern England found the number of red squirrels increased by 7% in spring 2013, compared with the same period last year, Red Squirrels Northern England said.

The conservation group found the number of grey squirrels was down by 18% in the same period.