The red squirrel is protected in most of Europe as numbers have decreased. They shed their coats twice a year, switching to a darker, thicker coat, in winter. They mate twice a year, usually in February/March and June/July. The average size of a litter is 3-4 kittens, but can be as large as 6. The gestation periods is 38-39 days. The nest of a squirrel is known as a drey and they live on average 3 years, although in captivity they have been known to live for 10 years.
At Mayfields we have a red squirrel breeding plan, with currently one breeding pair and several males in the viewing enclosure next to the bird hide.