Autumn is one of the red squirrels busiest times of year. All the nuts, seeds and berries are ripe and ready for picking. Our forests are full of the hustle and bustle of reds gathering food and hiding it away for winter. They will dig holes for seeds and nuts, and stash bits of fungi behind tree bark. This very act makes red squirrels a vital part of the forest ecosystem.
Red squirrels are notoriously forgetful and will forget where they buried many of their stashes of food. This means they help plant the next generation of trees throughout the forest, helping it regenerate and continue. Why do they do this? Well, contrary to popular belief, red squirrels don’t hibernate in winter, and so have to stock up on food in autumn to last them until spring. The myth came about because, like us, red squirrels don’t like cold, wet weather, so can stay in their drey for up to six days with no food, which means they’re seen much less often in winter.