Llyn Brenig

Red Squirrel


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Red Squirrels At Llyn Brenig

We know red squirrels are present at Llyn Brenig as well as nearby at the Clocaenog Forest.

The red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) is one of the UK’s rarest mammals, native to the British Isles since the last Ice Age.

They were once a common sight from Scotland to Cornwall but numbers in the UK have fallen dramatically since grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) were introduced in the late 19th Century.

It is thought that the UK population of reds now numbers between 120,000 to 160,000 individuals. They are classified as endangered in Wales and England.

Red squirrels are known to play an important role in the ecology of coniferous forests by spreading tree seeds and fungi.

Red Squirrel Projects at Llyn Brenig

Llyn Brenig is committed to improving the conservation prospects of red squirrels in north Wales. Read on to find out more about the schemes being trialled across the Brenig estate…

Pine Marten

Encouraging Pine Martens

The presence of pine martens has been shown to reduce grey squirrel population density which allows red squirrels to flourish again. For this reason, rangers have installed artificial pine marten dens across the Brenig estate. Their occupancy is being monitored using a variety of means, including a trial with a thermal camera.

Nothing conclusive has been returned so far but a trail cam has recently recorded both species occupying the same space in the forest at different times which is encouraging.

Red squirrel canopy bridge

Red Squirrel Canopy Bridge

Llyn Brenig Rangers installed a canopy bridge in 2024. It is hoped that this will improve habitat connectivity for red squirrels in the area.

The bridge may provide opportunities for reds to spread across a wider territory as they prefer to move though a continuous canopy rather than crossing open ground.

A camera monitors its effectiveness.

Red Squirrel

Sampling Red Squirrel DNA

There are concerns about limited genetic diversity in red squirrel populations. Llyn Brenig is exploring options for how to obtain samples for DNA analysis.

One idea is to use sticky pads to capture hair/fur.

A better understanding of genetics will be of interest to key conservation and environmental organisations like the Wales Biodiversity Partnership, the Red Squirrels Trust, Natural Resources Wales and the Clocaenog Red Squirrels Trust.

Other Conservation Projects

Brenig Osprey Project

Find out more about our stunning summer visitors and how you can observe them sustainably in their natural habitat.


Sand Martin Hotel

New in 2024, the artificial nesting site offers opportunities to observe the breeding season dramas of the gregarious sand martin.


Conservation Grazing

Learn why you may chance upon grazing highland cattle whilst out walking at Llyn Brenig and what they may contribute to biodiversity.


Sand Martin Hotel Live Feed

Large screens in the visitor centre stream live from the Llyn Brenig house martin hotel.

Wildlife-lovers can watch our summer colony in real time as their family dramas and special moments play out across the season.

We hope you enjoy following the day-to-day comings and goings of our sand martins.

Follow the Llyn Brenig House Martins on Facebook.

Upcoming Events

May   Aug
Fish Farm Tours

Meet our dedicated fish farmers and gain insight into the nurturing of our stock of rainbow and brown trout.

Monster Mash (Autumn)

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to cast your line in the exclusion zone surrounding the fish farm…

Mar   Dec
Tagged Fish Competition

Find a tag and you could hook yourself a whopping £1000 in our Tagged Fish Competition.