Welcome to our December 2019 newsletter, and best wishes to all our supporters for the coming festive season. Let’s hope 2020 proves to be the year of the squirrel (of the red variety!). We hope you enjoy this latest update.
White Tailed Eagle & Buzzards
Quite rightly, a lot of people are concerned about the introduction of White Tailed Eagles to the Isle of Wight. Helen is dubious about the re-introduction, although it’s very unlikely they will have a significant impact on red squirrels. As species are under stress thanks to human activities, a top predator is not going to help our wildlife. Farmers are also very concerned as the birds take lambs. Eyewitness reports of buzzards taking red squirrels are still coming in and one gentleman took this picture of a tail from a freshly caught red squirrel. It seems this is all the buzzard leaves. It’s nature but not at all helpful to the red squirrel cause!
Funding Boost for Red Squirrel Conservation
Enthusiastic volunteers joined project staff last month for a ‘squirrel-chewed cone’ survey at Clywedog Forest near Llanfair Clydogau to celebrate the launch of the new Healthy Reds Project. Healthy Reds is a three year project run by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) that aims to find out more about the fragile read more>>
Welcome to our summer 2019 newsletter. As ever it has been a real roller coaster with a series of highs and lows. A good breeding season for red squirrels but unfortunately for greys too. Over the spring and early summer, this has resulted in an unprecedented number of squirrel pox outbreaks. This is the result of the deadly virus carried by greys being passed onto reds and this has devastated the red population in some localised areas and sadly, it seems, right down the River Lowther valley. Read more>>
In this issue, we’re pleased to introduce Jack Edmondson, the G2G ranger. Also, we celebrate wonderful donations from two of our corporate supporters. Sadly we report a possible case of squirrel pox virus in a red squirrel at Skelwith. Finally, in a somewhat trimmed back Summer E-News, we’d welcome your views on previous editions and future format. In short, we want to offer news that you want to read! Read more>>
In this edition read about plans for our new Healthy Reds Project which, if funding is forthcoming, will kick off in the summer. You can contribute to the new project by donating to a very novel fundraising campaign created by wildlife enthusiast Michael the Flying Squirrel.
The challenges faced by our dedicated team of survey volunteers are elaborated upon in our regular ‘Tracking the Red Trail” article. Discover the new volunteer opportunities that the Vincent Wildlife Trust has in store for you.
And last but not least take a look at the amazing red squirrel photos that volunteers Paul Harry and Rhian Mai Hubbart managed to capture in Formby at the annual Red Squirrels United conference. Read more>>
Photos: Rhian top and right, Paul left
There is no doubt in my mind that without the continued efforts of the local community Red Squirrel Conservation groups, we would have no Red squirrels left in Northumberland now. The essential work all the volunteer groups undertake in controlling the numbers and spread of grey squirrels, is the only chance our native Reds have to survive. My usual message with this is as always, to stress that grey control is not a side of red conservation that is taken lightly, but is an absolute necessity.
In 2018, MADRS removed 1574 greys from our area. It’s not rocket science to think of how many more there’d be if a percentage of these had bred, 2-3 times a year… 3-4 greys per brood (and they would start breeding too!).
A fitting tribute to these efforts are the increased sightings in terms of numbers of red squirrels in some areas, and sightings of reds being reported in areas where they have not been seen for a while, in some cases several years. Read more>>
WORDS FROM THE CHAIRMAN, ROBERT BENSON
As a small boy, we had red squirrels in our garden near Petersfield in Hampshire in the early 1950s. Sadly they soon disappeared, driven out by the non-indigenous and more powerful greys or so we were told. I moved 300 miles north to Cumbria in 1976 and instantly became reacquainted with red squirrels. My passion was reignited, and I was determined to prevent the same thing from happening here in
Based on the Lowther Estates, I called together a group of landowners and in due course this became P&DRSG. We now know a lot more about the demise of the red and the virus carried by the invasive greys that has decimated red squirrel populations. I think I can honestly say that without our grey control work, there would not be any red squirrels in this part of Cumbria. We have reversed the flow but sustaining this effort is very difficult. Read more>>
Shooting Grey Squirrels for Red Squirrel Conservation
Lantra course page: https://www.lantra.co.uk/course/shooting-grey-squirrels-red-squirrel-conservation
The flyer for the 2019 Lantra approved training courses can be downloaded here>>