Background and history

Tollymore Forest Park is situated in the northern foothills of the Mourne Mountains in Co.Down, Northern Ireland


Red Squirrels are known to have been present in Tollymore Park since 1880 but were probably there long before that. Grey squirrels arrived in the park in the mid 1990's


In early 2004 it could be seen that grey squirrel numbers were dramatically increasing and that red squirrel numbers were in decline. Something drastic would need to be done if native red squirrels were going to survive in Tollymore Forest Park.


Our Work

The Tollymore Red Squirrel Group was formed in 2004 by a group of volunteers and Forest Service management and staff, united by a common concern-the loss of the red Squirrel in Tollymore Forest Park.


A few years later the Mourne Heritage Trust assisted the group by helping to create a website and email account to facilitate the recording of squirrel sightings and to boost educational programmes.

The group continues to work in close partnership with Forest Service DAERA-NI, the landowner of the forests in which it works.


The group is also involved in educational activities with schools, groups and members of the public through various events and exhibitions throughout the year, highlighting the plight of our native red squirrels and encouraging everyone to get involved in monitoring and recording squirrels within the park.


Tollymore Red Squirrel Group's aim has always been to supplement the red squirrels natural food and not replace it. With this in mind only five feeders are used throughout the 480 hectares park and these are taken down when not needed.


How do I get to the food? - The McComb Feeder

Twin Kittens enjoying a nice treat in early trials of feeding stations.