Campton & Chicksands

Black Squirrel spotted in Campton

On the 6am news on BBC Radio Four on 24 th October (2005) it was announced that a rare 'black' squirrel had been sighted in Stevenage; the News Reader promised there would be a 'Breaking News Item' covering this remarkable new phenomena later in the programme - sadly, no further news item materialised - however - all is not lost.   A village resident has been catching glimpses of a small - half the size of a grey -  black squirrel, in Campton, (usually at night), for several weeks - as is the norm his word has been doubted.

But today (25th October) - happily - there can no longer be any doubt;   'The Campton Black' was sitting on his lawn holding a slice of toast in both hands.

29th October. a.m. A black squirrel was observed by Glyn Davies (and the bus driver) crossing Rectory road and entering the Manor grounds, through the gateway.

3rd Nov. The resident who originally reported the black squirrel sighting wrote 'I 'm happy to tell you that whilst taking b'fast last week I glanced up and saw 'The Black Squirrel of Campton' sitting on my back gardem fence, watching me through the kitchen window - he/she looked envious!   Shortly after this second manifestation - my neighbour called to ask if I had seen the black squirrel that appeared to be living in my back garden - so I have a witness - no more ugly rumours eh!! '

4th Dec.  Another sighting.
We too have had a visitation from a black squirrel in the garden of 1, Elm Close. He appeared to be quite aggressive as he chased off at least two of the grey squirrels who had been happily minding their own business.

If anyone else has any sighting (or photographs) of the Campton Black Squirrel, please let me know.

e-mail me.

For more information on Black Squirrels:-

Black Squirrel spotted in Stevenage

Hertfordshire Biological records

Herts Heritage

Other Local Sighting

14th Nov.  
You are most probably aware that "Black Squirrels" can be found in and around Woburn Park. Only yesterday I was walking in woods adjacent to the Woburn Golf course (Brickhill Woods) and spotted at least three of these creatures. I was interested as to the origin of this species - hence looked up for more information on the internet - are they native to the UK, cross breed or a freak of nature ?. Up to yesterday I believed the ones I had seen in Woburn Park were Red Squirrels. However having now a much closer view they are clearly black.
M. Snee
(referred to Herts Heritage Web Site. Ed.)

8th Dec. Hi although I now live in South Africa I do pop back to the Uk twice a year. I spotted one of these black squirrels by the fairland health clinic about 4.5 years ago. And on my last visit last summer 2005 me and my two children spotted another just as we were leaving fairlands valley park. At first I thought I was seeing things (thought it may have been a mink) are their origins Russian? 
Richard Scott
(referred to Herts Heritage Web Site. Ed.)

10th Dec. Thought I would write to advise that our son who lives in Hitchin has Black Squirrels actually nesting in his garden, he has 4 Poplar trees so guess they make the most of them.  He has taken photos as have we when visiting as couldn't believe it when we first saw them.  Our grand children just think they're normal!!    My husband also took one of the photos to work here in Southampton as his work mates found it hard to believe but as it seems to be a pigment or some such that causes them to be black I guess not that unusual, just different. 
M Edwards

Jan 2006.  The black squirrel, along with a red kite buzzards and herons were spotted by 'Neil'  see 'Neil's notes'

Jan 2006.  A colony of black squirrels has been seen near 'The White Horse' at Southill, and a single black squirrel seen near Somerfield supermarket in Shefford.
Barry & Joyce Thompson.

Jan 2006. Approximately twenty years ago there was a colony of black squirrels living in the grounds of the old Faifield Hospital in Stotfold.

28th Jan. Just thought I would let you know that we spotted a Black Squirrel on Chicksands Camp on Saturday 28th January 2006
Avril Anderson


10th Feb.  Just to say, I thought I was going mad and getting up too early for work!,  I have seen a black squirrel twice in Pankhurst Crescent, in the Chells area of Stevenage.  Both times it was around 7-30am whilst driving out of my turning to go to work.
4th Mar.  hi i live in bexhill on sea east sussex i have just seen a black squirrel in my garden id never even heard of them before so i looked up your web site ,fantastic if i see any more would you like to know.

6th Mar.  Spotted a black squirrel in my dentist carpark, in Bancroft, Hitchin....seems like they are everywhere now!

14th May.  
Hi, I live ouside Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico in a village called Ajijic.  I have seen a black squirrel in my backyard.  I do not know whether or not there is just one species of black squirrels.  He just loves my Dicondra grass.  Cannot find out where the origin is of a black squirrel.Thank you.
Dinah DeVry
Referred to which states that black squirrels originate from North America.

25th May.  Hi  I have just read you black squirrel page and would like to let you know that I spotted one at the Chicksands edge of rowney warren woods nr Shefford. My friend and I were cycling and both commented how unusual it was, then only two days later saw your article by chance!!
Shanna Sheppard.

8th June.  Sightings of black squirrels in Meppershall churchyard reported in the 'Daily Mail'

13th June. I saw a black squirrel for the first time on Sunday, and watched him for ages as he munched away at the droppings on the lawn from the birdfeeder.  This morning he came back, but ran off as I tried to open the window to take his picture. He looks quite friendly, and obviously lives happily with his grey colleagues, as both were on the lawn together at one point. I just had to tell someone.
Jan Dobson
St. Ives, Cambs.

16th June 2006. Good morning, Twice this week (13th and 14th June 06) my wife has spotted a black squirrel bouncing around our garden in Bassingbourn (South Cambs). We did hear a few weeks ago that there had been reported sightings at the other end of the village, but didn't think that it would appear near us.It is a cute little thing that very closely resembles a RED squirrel although everything that I have read about them seems to say that they are a melanistic variant of the Grey squirrel. Hopefully I will get to see it myself over the weekend.
Luke Isted

9th August 2006 - As I was leaving for work this morning I had to slow the car to allow a black squirrel to cross Westbury Close ahead of me. First time I'd seen one, so after a quick web search I was pleased to find your page and links to further information on the species.
Paul Gulliver, Hitchin.

Good Morning.
Thought you would like to know that yesterday 26/09/06 whilst visiting Brampton in Cambridgeshire I spotted a Black Squirrel, I did not know they existed. Hence my search on the web & finding your information.
Regards, Linda Marsh

29th September 2006 - Hello,  A few weeks ago I looked out my back door and saw a black squirrel sitting rating the bread and bird seed I just put outside.  I live 20 miniutes outside the city of Pittsburgh and next to a park and have seen differebt wildlife from turkeys, deer, rare birds including a Great Horned Owl that had an injured wing, fox, squirrels, groundhogs, chipmunks etc.  But never a black squirrel.  I  was excited to see this squirrel and happy to share this sighting.
Sincerely, Rosann D.

24th October 2006.  Got within 20 feet of a black squirrel in the Plantation (next to Chicksands entrance) but unfortunately didn't have my camera with me.  Webmaster

30th October 2006.  Hello.  Spotted a black squirrel crossing the road at Fancott (nr Toddington) early morning yesterday.
Phil Smith

6th November 2006.  I have never seen a black squirrel before, my son and I was delighted to see one in the area of Gren Leys, St. Ives, Cambridge.
When we got home we got straight on the net to see if anyone else had seen one and came across your website.
Chris Spark

7th November 2006.  Having just spent the weekend inside RAF Brampton in Cambridgeshire visiting my son we spotted many Black Squirrels living quite openly in the Living accommodation area of the base.
Chris Scutt, Gosport, Hants.

13th Novemeber 2006, We saw a black squirrel in the woods off the A507 near to the new Council Offices. It was so unusual.
Barrie and Annette Glenn 

2nd December 2006.  hi we have seen several black squirrels on the chicksands military base. 
Andrea Lewis

10th December 2006  Hi, I didn't know black squirrels existed until this morning, when I saw one in my garden in Royston.  He was eating windfall apples on my lawn. I saw him scamper off and within a few seconds a grey squirrel had come to the feast. We have had grey squirrels nesting in a tree at the bottom of our garden for years, but I have never seen a black one before. 
Regards, Cheryl

12th December 2006.
I saw a black squirrel today, Tuesday, in the grounds of Kneesworth House Hospital, Royston, Herts.  This is the first time I've ever seen one (didn't know they existed!).  Maybe it was because of the unusual colour but the fur appeared to be much softer and fluffier than a grey squirrel's.
Sally Priechenfried

13th December 2006   Hi,   My wife and I saw a black squirrel last weekend, I really didn't think there was any other species of squirrels in the UK other thatn the Grey and Red Squirrels, to be honest I thought we might have got it wrong but I spoke to some friends about our sighting and they to had seen the squirrels.
I have seen the squirrels again, they look smaller than the grey more like a red squirrel but black. We live in a Village close to St Ives in Cambridgeshire. 
G Long

14th December 2006. Hello again. Spotted another black squirre this morning.  This time by the roadside coming out of Woburn Sands.  (Perhaps not that surprising as Woburn Park is where they allegedly originally escaped from?).  
Phil Smith

18th Januray 2007. 2 weeks ago I was just joining the A14 westbound at the B1049 Histon junction and a black squirrel loped across the slip road in front of me heading towards farmland on the outskirts of Cambridge. 
Helen, Cambridge

26th Januray 2007.
We noticed on your website references to sightings of the black squirrel. We were surprised to notice one today in Fairlands Valley Park in Stevenage and have since been researching its provenance. We would be happy to share any more information about this unusual creature.
Kevin & Helen

5th February 2007
Hello, I've just found your website while looking up information on, you've guessed it, black squirrels.  I saw one this morning, on the grass verge between Whipsnade Zoo and the village of Kensworth. Never seen one before, thought I was imagining it!  It ran into the woods as I passed by in the car.
Kevin Eagling
Nr Tring

27th March 2007
Hi,  I live in Histon, near Cambridge.  In 2006 I regularly had a black squirrel visit my garden, my neighbours were not surprised and said he was a regular.  Sadly I have not seen him (or her) this year 2007.
Pamela Mason

7th April 2007
Hi, it was the 10th March 07 and I saw our elusive black friend on the outskirts of Hitchin, on the road to Luton. I  was so amazed at this sight at 8.30am, I called my wife, who was a non-believer. It was only today that we decided to research this pretty little creature, since my son shows great interest in wildlife (3yrs). I wonder how many are roaming around, and has anyone else seen anything recently?
Andy Gale, St. Neots.

18th April 2007
To add to your record of sightings of black squirrels, I had a single black squirrel happily enjoying my garden in north Cambridge on 14th April. Have others been seen in Cambridge itself?  I live not far from the Histon Road but south of the A14 which I would have thought would pose a problem to a squirrel wanting to cross!
Leone Burton

11th May 2007
I found your section about black squirrels on the Campton and Chicksands by accident today and thought I'd add to your records.  we regularly see a black squirrel in our garden here in Ickleford near Hitchin., one year we had two.  We have been seeing them for the last eight years.
Steve Ramsey.

11th May 2007
We have noticed that there are a number (possibly two or three) Black Squirrels on the RAF Brampton site.
D. Ricketts
Cpl Dale Ricketts

18th June 2007
My self and 7 other memebrs of our family saw the elusive Stevenage black squirrel Sunday the 17th while at the music festival in Stevenage.  I tried to snap a couple of photos on my mobile but they are such poor quality I shall not bother to send them to you, especially as my mother is in one of them and she would kill me if she knew a picture of her could be on the web.  There are apparently sightings of them in and around Gamlingay, though I have never seen them myself.
Nick Sharp

18th June 2007
On Sunday 17th June 2007 We were lucky enough to spot the black squirrel in the park in Stevenage, Sorry I don't know the name I'm not from the area, but it was the one where there was a music festival.
Bob Sharp

31st July 2007
I first saw a black squirrel as far back as 2000, on the Chesterton side of the River Cam opposite the Riverside entrance to Stourbridge Common, Cambridge.  I haven't seen any since.  At the time a friend informed me that they were originally brought from the Himalayas to an estate in Letchworth.  He was interested to know that they had crossed the River Cam.  It would seem that they have quite a range from comments posted here.
Pablo Aquas

23rd August 2007
Your black squirrel may be taking trips out to Upper Stondon. For the past week between 10 and 11 each day we have a black squirrel taking hazel nuts from our trees right by our back door and burying them further up our garden by a trampoline!
We think it is a young adult as it is slightly built with a very long not too fluffy tail, although at the rate he takes the nuts he will soon be fat during the winter months. We will try and get a photo but can you recommend a good web site about these animals?  Regards, 
Gill, Pete, Ryland and Stan the dog.

18th September 2007
My husband and I were travelling along A1 September 16 heading North and spotted a Black Squirrel run from bushes onto the grass verge near Stamford aroud 8.15am.  I was so surprised I never knew they existed until I just looked on your web.  It was soot black and beautiful!
Gillian Jeffery

16th October 2007
We live in Conington (the Cambridge Conington, not the Peterborough one), and we  have a village full of black squirrels.  When my husband and I first moved here, we though people were pulling our legs.   Not so.   They intermingle quite happily with the grey squirrles.  One regularly visits my bird table for sunflower seeds.  They are apparently a mutation from the greys.
Lesley Brierley

1st November 2007
My Husband and Daughter spotted a black squirrel in tea green near Luton and Hitchin the other morning - I thought they were pulling my leg till I saw your web site.
Celeste Greetham.

2nd November 2007
<>Hi, My husband and I went for a meal in Tea Green, Hertfordshire.  I decided to sit outside the lovely country pub we were having our meal in and thought I was seeing things!  Never in my life have I seen a black squirrel and there in the tree were 3 grey and one black.  I sat for nearly 2 hours just watching this amazing little animal.  I didn't even know they existed.
Thought I'd inform you.  Apparently there have been sightings in Hertfordshire.
Jeanie Durston

3rd Jan 2008
Just to let you know, I saw a black squirrel, sitting at the side of the road in Fen Drayton, Cambridge today.
Fred Williams
23rd January.
Saw a black squirrel at the old Faifields hospital site at Arlesey, Beds.
Sue Hayhurst

24th Jan 2008
Hi, for the first time in mine and my husbands life we saw a black squirrel, just beside the tesco petrol station in Baldock. i have  never seen or heard of them , so i found your website.
                                        Karen & Mike
3rd Feb 2008
We have a black squirrel visiting our garden to feed on peanuts on a regular basis. It was first spotted about three weeks ago. We live in Impington near Cambridge.
Malcolm Butcher

3rd Feb 2008
There is one black squirrel that lives in fairlands lakes in stevenage near the cafe, it is there everyday i go other there, at first i thought it was very strange to see but now is just normal as it is there so oftern, is very nice to see.
Rachel Parkinson

18th March 2008
I saw a black squirrel today, crossing the road on the zebra crossing in Ampthill Road, Shefford !
Fred Williams

31st March 2008
My husband and I saw a black squirrel at the side of the road, near to the old Fairfield Hospital site at Stotfold.  We used to see them in this area quite frequently approximately 20 years ago, when there was a colony in the grounds of the hospital.

1st April 2008
Re-Black Squirrel's in Mid Bedfordshire, they have been there as far back as 13 years ago.  They were seen on land behind the then Police House on the A6, there were also quite a few in the grounds of The Cedar's nursing home in Ampthill.
Valerie Chisholm Co-Durham

9th April 2008
I live on Waterbeach Fen in Cambridgeshire. We have black squirrels in our garden which we see regularly. We also have grey ones as well which are twice the size. Would these black ones be related to the red variety bearing in mind their size?
Andrew Hawkes

25th April 2008
 Hi   i just thought you would like to know i have a black squirrel living in my house! A neighbour brought it to me because a cat had it in its mouth, it is only a baby so i'm bottle feeding it for now. I live in Buntingford but the squirrel was found in Baldock.

 Photographs of baby black squirrel by courtesy of Hessa

18th July 2010

Hi, We have just driven through Ickleford near Hitchin and along the side of the road on a grass verge I saw a black squirrel jumping around. I was very surprised and  interested as I have never seen one before.
Ann Clark

19th September 2010

Yesterday whilst out cycling i too spotted your Black squirrel 50 meters in from the newer north car park down the hill a bit.
it was scurrying around and jumped onto a tree when it saw me.
There were no witness as i had left my friends for dust. 
I am not sure if your still monitoring the little fella but thought it worthy enough of a message to you.

18th November 2010

Caught on camera, the illusive black squirrel in Campton Plantation.


8th August 2011

I saw a black squirrel today on the A14, 2 miles before the huntingdon turn off.
mick gough.

28th March 2012 a.m.

Sighted a black squirrel (crossing the road) at the top of Luton White Hill in Offley, Hertfordshire.


14th November 2016

Hello, I just wanted to let you know that I saw a black squirrel on the trunk of a tree in Tesco, Baldock car park today.
I had never seen a black squirrel before, or even knew they existed. So after researching tonight, I came across your website so thought I would report the sighting to you.
This has pleased me greatly, & made my day.
Unfortunately my phone camera just wasn't good enough to get a photo from the 20ft distance I was away from it.
All the best, Emma Clark.

25th September 2017

After all these years of attempting to get a good photograph of a black squirrel in Campton, this one turned up in my garden in Greenway, Campton today.  He was stealing my Filbert nuts.  Webmaster

25th May 2018

I came across your website this morning after spotting what appeared to be a black squirrel on my rear garden shed at around 7:45 am this morning. I checked to see if such a species existed and it appears that they do actually exist.

I live in Great Offley close to Offley Place in Hertfordshire and was bemused at this siting as it scurried across the shed roof, leapt into a nearby tree, sat for a while then returned back onto the shed roof before finally settling in a nearby tree.

Unfortunately I was not in a position to photograph this delightful creature, but will certainly be looking out for it in the future.


Glen Harvey

Shefford, Bedfordshire, UK (map)

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