It's the sort of luxury that's usually reserved for paying guests...

Yet for one lucky population of red squirrels in Cumbria life has suddenly become rather luxurious as they adjust to five-star accommodation that will keep them pampered throughout the chilly winter months ahead.

Their new feeding station at Center Parcs near Penrith provides far more than just a welcome roof over their heads.

It also comes complete with mod cons: a comfortable settee with scatter cushions, swish curtains, a fully made up bed, cooking equipment, and even a tiny table and chairs.

The red squirrels may not be too bothered by such human luxuries but the squirrel lodge also has a feeding station. They could certainly never complain that they are being treated like second class citizens just because they're not human.

It was all the idea of Center Parcs Red Squirrel Ranger Jerry Moss, who wants to raise awareness of the cute mammals, which have been in decline for decades.

The UK's only native squirrel species, they once numbered around 3.5m but in recent decades that number has plummeted to the current estimated population of around 120,000 across the UK, with only around 15,000 in England.

Mr Moss worked with a carpenter to create the eye-catching Center Parcs feeding station, which is identical to the plush Woodland Lodges seen at the holiday centre.

Crucially, the lodge includes a hidden trough which is filled with nuts for the squirrels to graze on throughout the day and will stay in Whinfell Forest for the bushy-tailed creatures to use.

Mr Moss said: “A big part of my job is to ensure the red squirrels have the opportunity to forage for food and to give them a helping hand should they need it.

“I’ve been putting out feeders for years but had the idea of commissioning a special Center Parcs feeder for them when I saw how much they like to get up close and personal to the lodges on village.

“I thought, why shouldn’t they get the luxury our guests enjoy on their break!

“It’s a privilege to help the red squirrels and educate others about the species.

“At Whinfell Forest, guests can take part in A Red Squirrel Family Adventure, where our where our rangers lead a walk around the feeding area at the Ranger’s Lodge. “

“We provide a map for children encouraging them to look out for signs of the red squirrel and to solve puzzles along the way which is a great way to share some important messages.”

Over half of children under the age of 10 have never seen a red squirrel and a sighting of one is so rare that two in ten children believe they only exist in books, TV and films.

New research by Center Parcs has revealed that red squirrels are becoming a rarer sight for Britons than feared, with a quarter of adults and over half of children (58 per cent) admitting they have never seen one.