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One of Scotland’s most iconic yet endangered mammals is the red squirrel, also known as ‘reds’. NTS properties are doing much to conserve this species and prevent it from disappearing from our woodlands.

The best places to see red squirrels include the Countryside Centre at Brodick Castle and Country Park, Killiecrankie, Crathes Castle, Garden and Estate, Fyvie Castle, and Mar Lodge, to name but a few of the 25 NTS properties with them.

We have committed ourselves to managing our woodlands sensitively for the species, encouraging trees like Scot’s Pine, where appropriate, which are favoured by the reds.

The grey squirrel is an important factor, as well as woodland management, in the conservation of red squirrels. NTS take part in grey squirrel control programmes only where they are part of recognised, wider programmes and/or can be clearly justified against strict criteria. We believe that controlling grey squirrels will reduce the spread of Squirrel Pox virus, which is fatal to reds, whilst also reducing competition for food in areas where the two species are present. NTS does not enter into such control work lightly and takes full account of associated animal welfare issues as well as ethical considerations.

With the recent publication of the NTS Red Squirrel Conservation Action Plan in 2011, NTS have set out how we plan to help conserve the red squirrel in Scotland.