Popular British gardener, Alan Titchmarsh, who owns a home on the Isle of Wight, advises tree planting now to support red squirrels.

As an ambassador for the Red Squirrel Survival Trust, Mr Titchmarsh said the reds love the fruits of a range of trees and shrubs, and planting them now will ensure they begin producing the food as the reds emerge into new areas – and gardens.

Off the Island, Mr Titchmarsh has been collaborating with DEFRA on producing a contraceptive to control grey squirrel breeding.

This will be added to food in feeders only greys can open, initially in woodland inhabited only by greys.

“This is a long-term project designed to provide supplementary feeding for our native red squirrels as they move back into areas currently populated by alien grey squirrels. This will happen once a fertility control programme, designed to stop greys breeding, spreads out across the UK,” explains Alan.

To support Red Squirrel populations, it is recommended to plant walnuts, hazelnuts, conifer seeds, holly berries, crab apples, wild and bird cherries, Bullace, Dogrose and Guelder rose hips, blackberries, and raspberries.

“They are all attractive trees in a garden," he added.