Prince Charles takes "enormous pleasure" in finding squirrels in his house.
The 72-year-old royal has marked Red Squirrel Appreciation Day with a letter of support to the Red Squirrel Survival Trust- of which he is patron - and as well as expressing his admiration for the efforts of volunteers in fighting for the survival of the "charming and intelligent" creatures, he also spoke of his own love of the animals.
He wrote: "Without your efforts, we simply could not hope to succeed in the task we have set ourselves.
“Generations to come would be denied the pleasure we take for granted in the healthy woods that are now threatened as never before, and of which the red squirrel is both the symbol and, by its presence, the benchmark.
“As you will all know so well, these charming and intelligent creatures never fail to delight.
“I take enormous pleasure in having them around – and in! – the house when I am at home in Scotland.
“They are such inquisitive and delightful characters; they have even been known to hunt down a few of their favourite nuts left out in an unguarded jacket pocket!
“I am so very grateful to all of you, as volunteers, for the crucial role you play in this ongoing battle to protect and restore a precious part of our natural heritage.
“This brings you all my warmest good wishes, together with every possible encouragement for the task ahead.”
The organisation were delighted with the letter.
Stephen Trotter, a trustee, said: “I know all the many volunteers involved in red squirrel conservation across the UK will be delighted, inspired and grateful to read these warm words of thanks and encouragement from His Royal Highness.”
There are fewer than 140,000 red squirrels left in the UK.