The red squirrel population in Low Wood near Grasmere has doubled over the past six months.

Since April, Josh Adams has been employed by Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Westmorland Red Squirrels as a 'Red Squirrel Ranger'.

His work has involved locating red squirrel colonies throughout the Grasmere to Grizedale route and monitoring their progress.

Mr Adams said: "There has been a lot of work gone into the red squirrel conservation, and a lot of work is needed in order for these squirrels to continue to thrive.

"Without constant conservation it's highly likely that the red squirrel numbers would decline again and, if it were not for the efforts of hundreds of volunteers throughout Cumbria, I'm certain that red squirrels would not exist."

Helping the squirrels has come in the form of supplementary feeding programs and the erection of nest boxes to provide the animals with safe shelter.

"To see such positive results this year is very inspiring to keep pushing," Mr Adams added.

"Many residents of the local areas are also reporting reds back in their gardens again, some who have not seen them in over six years."

Going forward, the work will continue for at least another six months, with Grasmere's squirrel protector hoping that the population will double again in that time span.

"I took on this role with open arms, feeling lucky to work in the areas I grew up in, to give back to nature and to help restore some balance.

"I do feel that we need to create more opportunities for roles such as mine, for there are many hectares of woodlands I will not reach in time."

Mr Adams' work was made possible thanks to the Cumberland’s Mortgages for Squirrels initiative where the business donated £10 to Cumbria Wildlife Trust for every new house purchase mortgage completed with them between July 2022 and June 2023.

He finished by saying: "I urge anyone who lives local and has time to spare to work with red squirrels to seek out your local red squirrel group and get in touch."