VISITORS to a North-East beauty spot, often delighted by the sight of red squirrels running up and down trees, got a special treat when they had a rare sighting of one showing off its swimming skills.

This squirrel, nicknamed Thorpedo, was spotted at Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Hauxley reserve at Druridge Bay, where they are regularly spotted running up and down the trees to specially-positioned squirrel feeders.

It was captured on camera by visitor Richard Maddison as it was swimming back to the shore from Island Three.

Alex Lister, Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Druridge Bay Living Landscapes Manager who is responsible for the wildlife charity’s five reserves along the bay, said : “We’re delighted one of our visitors managed to catch our very own ‘Thorpedo’ and shared it with us.

"I’m almost certain all our native mammals can swim and on this site we occasionally see hedgehogs swimming and regularly see rabbit swimming, but in almost 20 years working in wildlife conservation, I have never seen a squirrel swim.

“The squirrel was seen swimming away from an island with over 20 trees, it will have had access to an unlimited supply of food - so visitors need to keep their eyes peeled for it making a return visit to the island for seconds.”