The Treflach Squirrel

William Wordsworth poem “Nutting” records an epoch in time that between 1876 and 1929 completely disappeared in the UK. Beatrix Potters most famous Squirrel Nutkin was red.

When they imported the grey squirrel from America it escaped from private collections from the south of England spreading disease. The smaller red squirrel stocked at a very low density was replaced by a much larger rodent whose population could reach pest proportions. The Treflach squirrel is grey now - however there are some red ones in Wales - and is known to strip the abundant hazel nut in the area before you ever get a chance to harvest them.  Yet pre 1876 hazel was a winter staple for rich and poor with huge health benefits.