Category Archives: Grey squirrels


Three or four mornings over the last week, I have lain in bed in the dark, not particularly early hours, listening to a little owl calling somewhere nearby. It is a delightfully eerie sound.

On Monday morning, while making a cup of tea, I looked out of the kitchen window to see a grey squirrel—a rarity in this neck of the non-woods—chasing Philip the pheasant around the lawn.

It was only afterwards that it occurred to me that all three creatures—owl, squirrel, and pheasant—represent non-native species that were introduced to the island of Great Britain by mankind. Just like me—a Wirral lad relocated to Yorkshire—they are off-comed-uns who will never be totally accepted by the natives.

I am remarkably inconsistent when it comes to non-native species. Little owls and pheasants don't bother me in the slightest. In fact, I rather like them, as I like other non-native species, such as rabbits and brown hares. But grey squirrels really wind me up. Grey squirrels and domestic cats.

Domestic cats and grey squirrels will be first and second against the wall respectively, come the Glorious Richard Revolution.

Molly is unimpressed

Dad had a late golf match, so I took Molly for a walk in Eastham Woods.

There were a couple of grey squirrels chasing each other high up in one of the hazels. I'm always astonished at how agile they are running up tree trunks. I can't imagine they would be any faster on the ground. This pair were spiralling round and round the trunk, up and down, as if gravity didn't exist.

For once, Molly was totally unimpressed by the squirrels. She was having too much fun rolling in leaves, and drinking from puddles in the roots of the beeches.

Invasive pest

On my way to Dad's, I stopped at the car park at Eastham Woods to admire the view across the Mersey.

Someone had placed some peanuts inside the hollow, wooden posts at the side of the car park, and the grey squirrels were having a field day:

Grey squirrel
Grey squirrel.

They are undoubtedly cute, but I am strongly of the opinion that this invasive species needs controlling (for which, read culling), if our native reds are to stand a chance.

But, instead, we feed them peanuts.