A RED squirrel kitten is being cared for by a local business owner after falling out of its nest in Newbiggin on Lune.

Andrew Forsyth, of Weasdale Nurseries, found the tiny kitten after getting home one night to a squealing in the tree canopy.

“Shortly after I could hear something falling through the branches and then this little squirrel kitten landed on the tarmac almost at my feet,” said Andrew.

He contacted Penrith & District Red Squirrel warden Gary Murphy and his colleague John Lyle, who confirmed that the young creature wouldn't survive the night if left outside.

Said Andrew: “Tawny Owls were just yards away in the trees and so, if the cold didn't kill it, the owls would have enjoyed an unexpected snack.

“So, inside it came, into an impromptu nest of cloths in a tureen beside the Aga.”

Christened ‘Tumble’, the kitten is thought to be around five weeks old, and currently weighs around 110 grams, thanks to two-hourly feedings.

“It’s getting quite strong now but it could be another eight to ten weeks before a controlled release back into the habitat here,” said Andrew.