What we do

Our focus is on monitoring red squirrels on the Isle of Wight without using intrusive methods. Red squirrels are sensitive and can die of stress when caught or handled.

Most research data comes from you, the general public – this is called ‘citizen science’ and is extremely valuable to our research, although of course trail cameras, hairtubes and woodland surveyors walking a transect is the ideal way to go about it! Volunteers?
Read published papers...

online sightingsepicollect
What to do if you're worried about tree felling on the Isle of Wight

The Wight Squirrel Project gets a lot of enquiries from people who are concerned about illegal tree felling. We are unable to take any action, so please contact the IOW Council with your concerns.

There is an  information sheet on how to tackle planning issues involving red squirrels and trees, and how to contact the Council to report unauthorised tree felling – you can download the pdf here.

Here is a pdf of our latest newsletter to bring you up to date.

New Action Plan to Support Red Squirrels

A new updated Isle of Wight Red Squirrel Plan is being launched to celebrate National Red Squirrel Week which starts on October 2nd. Through this strategy, we will seek to ensure that Red Squirrels continue to thrive on the Isle of Wight.

The plan is available here as a pdf. 

Become a Woodland Citizen Scientist

Wight Squirrel Project is launching a new initiative to encourage people who walk in a woodland regularly to note down squirrel sightings. If you walk your dog in a particular wood, then it will be a doddle.

Want to join in? It’s easy – just download and fill in your squirrel sightings, in our spreadsheet form, then email to wightsquirrels@hotmail.com every 6 months – job done.

Your reward? The satisfaction of knowing you are helping red squirrels conservation on the Isle of Wight for a start. The Isle of Wight is a nationally important red squirrel stronghold, so monitoring how the squirrels are faring is a must and the most important aspect of our work.

For consistent monitors, we will arrange an annual treat, such as visiting a woodland which doesn’t have public access, plus you’ll be entered into a free draw.

Download the form in Microsoft PublisherDowload the form in Excel

Red Squirrel Conservation Research

After 30 years of research, Wight Squirrel Project Manager, Helen Butler MBE, has published her reports about red squirrel conservation on the Isle of Wight.

A sample of the publication is available here as a pdf. 

If you would like a hard copy of this 368-page book, the cost is £35. Postage is free to Isle of Wight addresses but please add £8 for posting off the Island.

You can purchase a copy from Helen – contact her on wightsquirrels@hotmail.com or 01983 611003 to have the book posted, or to pick it up.  The Museum of Ryde also has copies but it's best to ring them first on 01983 717435.

As part of our charitable giving, a limited number of books are now offered free to universities and colleges. It costs £10 to post, so if the university can contribute it would be appreciated, if not, the charity will foot the postage. Please email Helen: wightsquirrels@hotmail.com to book your copy.

These reports are copyrighted, so if any data is used, Helen Butler and the Wight Squirrel Project must be credited.

How you can help us

The easiest and most efficient way to offer financial help is to become a Friend of the Red Squirrel and set up a standing order with a donation.

We also need volunteers to help us with walks, events and delivering newsletters. Please contact us if you can help.


Feeding Squirrels

Feeding red squirrels helps their survival and provides hours of entertainment for you.

They need a variety of food, not just peanuts. Hazelnuts, filberts, pine nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, coconut and fruit will provide a varied and healthier diet. NEVER feed brazil nuts or fatballs!


Squirrel Spotting

Peak activity times are dawn and dusk all year. Squirrels react to sound and movement, so stand still and keep quiet.

Where gardens back onto woods, squirrels are often fed and can be spotted as they travel to and from the garden.

Read more about best places to see red squirrels on the Island...

Support the charity and buy  a cute Wight Squirrel Project T-shirts online from
For each t-shirt bought, Wight Squirrel Project will get £4.50 towards funding

T-shirts cost £19.00
buy one here...