A Reigate estate agent had a nutty surprise after coming back from south east Asia, when he found squirrels had stashed a huge number of acorns in his car.

Andrew Wilkins took his Volkswagen Golf to a garage upon his return, because he was finding it hard to change gear.

When he got there, he opened the glove compartment for the first time since coming home, and found it stuffed full of acorns.

He said: “I went to put a pair of sunglasses in there and when I opened it, eight acorns fell out. You can imagine my surprise.

“I told one of the mechanics to take a look and he said ‘What the ****?’ Within 30 seconds, all ten of the garage’s mechanics were gathered around the car having a laugh.”

Half an hour later, Andrew received a call telling him the true extent of the damage the mischievous squirrel wreaked on his car.

He said: “The reason I couldn’t change gear properly was because they were absolutely everywhere. They were behind the trim, under the bonnet and inside the gearbox assembly.

“Underneath the bonnet there’s sound proofing and that had been torn apart. There were probably 100 acorns. It was literally full to the brim.”

Mechanics also found a dead rat inside the bonnet, and then charged Andrew, 25, £168 for the work done to fix his bizarre problem.

Andrew said: “I had some squirrel squatters for a month. I feel bad - I ruined their winter and all their hard work.

“I’m sure they’ll find more.”