Red squirrels are protected in the UK under Schedules 5 and 6 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.
'It is an offence to intentionally kill or injure a red squirrel or intentionally or recklessly damage or destroy any structure or place a red squirrel uses for shelter or protection, or disturb a red squirrel while it occupies such a place.'
Conversely, grey squirrels are regarded as an invasive non-native species. Greys are also listed in the IUCN international list of 100 worst invasive non-native species. It is illegal to release a grey anywhere, once it is caught. It is also illegal to bring a grey squirrel into red squirrel territory, even if it's caged. The penalty is 2 years imprisonment or £5,000 fine.
For more information on red squirrels and projects on the island, visit the IOW Red Squirrel Trust website.
You can easily and effectively help red squirrels by becoming a Friend of the Red Squirrel. Become our Friend.