North Hertfordshire goes nuts for Squirrel Appreciation Day

PUBLISHED: 15:25 21 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:49 22 January 2020

January 21 is Squirrel Appreciation Day. Picture: Archant

January 21 is Squirrel Appreciation Day. Picture: Archant

Archant

North Herts residents have been celebrating the highlight of the squirrel calendar today - Squirrel Appreciation Day!

Rachel Tricket photographed squirrels outside her lounge window this week. Picture: Rachel TricketRachel Tricket photographed squirrels outside her lounge window this week. Picture: Rachel Tricket

Garden City Collection, on Wilbury Hills Road, has invited Letchworth residents to share on social media their favourite photos of our furry friends.

"It's always lovely to see the unusual black squirrels exploring Letchworth gardens", they posted on Facebook this morning. "The mischievous brush-tailed critters often make their way to The International Garden Cities Exhibition and try their luck with the bird feeder!"

National Squirrel Day was coined in 2001 by American wildlife rehabilitation specialist Christy Hargrove, who says "you can make of it what you want, as long as it's in the name of squirrel positivity!"

Hertfordshire is no stranger to the squirrel-verse, boasting a long association with the round-eyed rodents.

Steve Barley has gained universal attention for designing homemade squirrel obstacle courses from his Hitchin garden. Picture: Steve BarleySteve Barley has gained universal attention for designing homemade squirrel obstacle courses from his Hitchin garden. Picture: Steve Barley

Letchworth is widely considered to be where the now famous Hertfordshire black squirrel was first sighted.

Legend has it that in 1912 the Duke of Bedford brought them over from America for his Woburn estate in Bedfordshire.

You may also want to watch:

Garden City Collection even include black squirrels in their Letchworth A to Z book - in between architects Bennett and Bidwell, and school teacher Edith Booth.

North Herts Museum tweeted this photo of one of Hitchin's last red squirrels. Picture: North Herts MuseumNorth Herts Museum tweeted this photo of one of Hitchin's last red squirrels. Picture: North Herts Museum

In recent years, Hitchin man Steve Barley has received global recognition for his Grand-Prix themed squirrel assault courses - receiving nearly three million YouTube hits - and last year said he intends to build "more elaborate obstacle courses", unless his wife "wants her washing line back!"

North Herts Museum also tweeted its support for the squirrel fraternity this morning, sharing the tragic story of one of Hitchin's last red squirrels.

"This poor little guy was one of the last red squirrels to live in Hitchin", they posted on social media (see above).

"It was rescued by Miss Hailey, a resident of The Biggin, in about 1910, after she found some boys tormenting it in St Mary's Churchyard."

Rachel Tricket photographed squirrels outside her lounge window this week. Picture: Rachel TricketRachel Tricket photographed squirrels outside her lounge window this week. Picture: Rachel Tricket

One resident celebrating today is Rachel Tricket, from Norton, who has been photographing squirrels which gather outside her lounge window.

"I have a mix of three black and a few grey squirrels in my garden", Rachel said. "It's fun watching them chase each other about. They've yet to master climbing the metal pole holding the other feeders, but it's funny watching them try. I just love having the wildlife in my garden."

How have you been celebrating Squirrel Appreciation Day? Get in touch at news@thecomet.net to tell us more


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Comet. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Most Read

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Most Read

Latest from the The Comet