GREYS are common, reds are rare – but have you ever seen a white squirrel?

If you haven't, you are not the only one as there are only a handful of them believed to be living in the UK.

Stoneclough resident Chemane Brier has spotted one – and she has given us these pictures to prove it.

Ms Brier, aged 32, couldn't believe her eyes when she saw it in the back garden of her home on Saturday morning. She said: “It was on the artificial grass in my back garden.

“I’ve never seen a white squirrel before in my life, let alone in my garden. We are lucky to have a large variety of wildlife in Stoneclough.”

Although the squirrel looks as though it may have taken a dip in a bottle of bleach or white paint, it is actually a white-coloured version of the eastern grey squirrel.

White squirrels are either albino or born with leucism, a mutated gene which turns them white but keeps their eyes black.

In a sea of five million squirrels across Britain, just a handful suffer from leucism.

This means that they do not suffer the sight problems associated with albino squirrels, which have pink eyes.

Experts say that white squirrels are more vulnerable to attack from predators as they have no natural camouflage.

White squirrels hit the headlines as recently as last week when a couple from Surrey spotted one in their back garden. Eastern grey squirrels in the US have a gene that makes their coats white.

Only one in 100,000 squirrels are estimated as being born albino.