FRIENDSHIP is a nutty thing.

A weekly promise of peanuts on the steps of Weymouth’s Nothe Gardens is all it’s taken for this happy squirrel and regular walker Tony Wraight to become friends.

Mr Wraight, who is 67 and works as a managing director for a worldwide antiques company, has been walking through the Nothe Gardens every week for most of his life.

But it was 15 years ago he decided to walk through the gardens with a friend as a form of exercise, and three years ago since he met the squirrel in question, who he has nicknamed ‘Happy’.

Tony, who lives in West Knighton near Dorchester, said the squirrel is always at a certain spot on the Nothe steps every day at midday and even has his own special tree.

He added: “He is so friendly it’s incredible; he’ll let you pick him up and cuddle him. In the winter I wear gloves and feed him while he’s sat on my hand.

“We’ve been thinking about giving the squirrel a name over the last week, he has about 40 or 50 squirrel friends and we also know them quite well now.

“Feeding him has become quite a routine now but he has to sit in a certain spot overlooking Weymouth harbour. Seeing him really does brighten up my day.”

Tony said the squirrel was a ‘real charmer’ but said one thing not to do was feed two at a time, because they then squabble over the food.

He added that the squirrel follows him and his friend up the Nothe steps to a spot where Tony usually sits down to admire the view over the harbour.

Tony said: “The squirrel certainly knows my routine by now. Whenever I walk through the Nothe Gardens now they are full of people feeding the squirrels, which is a lovely sight to see.”