Many years ago red squirrels could be seen feeding on the ground, especially around Pine Hill. In recent years none have been seen.
In Ireland red squirrels are being displaced by the introduced grey squirrels, which are able to eat unripe nuts, thus outcompeting the red squirrels by eating most of the food resources before they are palatable to the reds.
The red squirrels had survived in the gardens until recently because they have the advantage when there are copious pine cones available – a food resource that the grey squirrels will only tackle when hard pressed.
Although the grey squirrels are delightful to watch, please remember that they are wild animals – not pets. They can bite and scratch.