Squirrel pox is a devastating virus which has a 95% fatality rate in red squirrels. Symptoms of the disease include pus-filled lesions on the face (particularly around the eyes and mouth), paws and genitalia with squirrels often showing signs of disorientation, lack of coordination and lethargy.

Squirrel pox virus is now in the Solway Forest area. If you see a red squirrel showing symptoms of the squirrel pox virus visiting your garden or a grey squirrel using your garden feeders, feeders should be removed immediately and cleaned with an anti-viral disinfectant such as Virkon.

When the pox virus has been reported in your area we would advise suspending the use of your bird/squirrel feeders until further notice to ensure that the disease is not spread further between animals.

The Solway Forests Red Squirrel Network is the local group working with Saving Scotland’s red squirrels (SSRS) project to provide advice in the event of a pox outbreak

You can report any suspected sick red squirrels or grey squirrels direct to SSRS (01556 611288) or to your local group via John Lindon 07807226263;email@johnlind20.plus.com