Well, Spring has finally arrived, it’s been a long time coming, but the sunshine is eventually making itself known, the leaves are budding, and squirrels of all types are preparing to go forth and multiply!
Despite the harsh weather over the winter, there’s been lots of project activity, including some interesting developments in survey techniques as we attempt to track red squirrels across the Mid Wales Focal Site, read on to find out more. Also in this edition, learn about what tree species you can plant in the Red Squirrel Focal Site to benefit red squirrels, find out what Scottish Woodlands are doing to help red squirrels and don’t forget to join Coed Y Bont Woodland Group in Pontrhydfendigaid on the 19th April to discover how tree diseases are affecting Welsh woodlands and what you can do to help wildlife in challenging times. Read more>>
Welcome to our first E-News issue of 2018. The Government is consulting on the future of incentives to land managers post-Brexit. We think it’s vital that we make Ministers aware of the important role that foresters, farmers – and volunteers – play in managing red squirrel habitat and protecting the species. Please add your voice by responding to the consultation through this link. The deadline is 8 May 2018 so don’t delay! Read more>>
Welcome to the Spring 2018 edition of the MADRS Newsletter
Personally, I just don’t know where the time goes. Here I am putting together another edition of the Newsletter and it’s the first edition in another new year. In 2017, the MADRS grey team removed 1447 grey squirrels from our area. As always, I’d like to stress that this is not a side of red conservation that is taken lightly but is absolutely necessary to ensure the survival of the reds. This grey control work has really paid off with an increase in red sightings from both our ‘normal’ areas, but encouragingly, in some new areas too. Read more>>
The future of Red Squirrels in the Penrith area was given a boost in late November with the announcement that the Lowther Estate is to embark on one of the largest new commercial woodland creation schemes in England for the last twenty five years, and Wesley Squirrel gets “Reet back amang it” as he is finally set free! Read more>>
Our next issue will be our Annual Review in February but already it’s been a remarkable year. The number of greys reported culled this year has exceeded last year’s total and currently stands at 3299 – a testament to the amazing and effective work our volunteers, contractors and landowners are doing to protect our reds.
And reports of reds seen in our area have now reached 465, more than double the figure in 2016. More reds and more reports mean not only that we’re holding the line but that we’re making a real difference and gathering ever greater support. Thank you! Read more>>
In the last issue I reported that by the end of June, MADRS had removed over 900 greys from our patch. This control work has continued and to the end of October a total of 1253 had been removed. Again, we stress that this is not a side of red conservation that is taken lightly. It is absolutely necessary to ensure the survival of the reds.
As always the damage to trees, predation on bird eggs and fledglings and obviously the spread of squirrel pox would have been so much greater had it not been for the remarkable efforts of our ‘Grey’ team.
I also reported the increase in red sightings and am delighted to say that we have further sightings and new reports of reds in Borough Woods near Morpeth. (There are photos further on in the newsletter of these little chaps).
Once again, the real ‘boots on the ground’ work is down primarily to the volunteer/community groups. Read more>>
In this edition of Red Squirrel News, get an update on the pine marten reinforcement and find out about how they have become frequent visitors to our squirrel feeders, read the latest on the deadly squirrel pox virus from north Wales, plus much more squirrel-related news. Read more>>
Airgun enthusiast and BASC member JASON BRAITHWAITE reports on an exciting and successful red squirrel conservation project taking place in the woodlands of Western Lakeland. Read the full article here>>
Our thanks go to BASC (www.basc.org.uk) for their kind permission to reproduce this article which was first published in the November/December 2017 issue of Shooting & Conservation, pages 57-59.
With the native red squirrel under threat of extinction in Britain by the introduced gray species, new efforts are underway to kill the latter to save the former. Is that possible, and is it fair?
This article by Greg Norman features the work of Craig Shuttlworth in Wales and with Red Squirrels United, and is published on the website of Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster. Read the full article here>>
As we approach the end of this year, we are starting to focus on the future and you will see that we are still busy across a range of activities. We are:
- Working with the NGO to promote grey squirrel control groups across the UK to supplement the excellent control work done by BASC and the red squirrel conservation groups.
- Continuing to support Good Nature while they bring the A18 Trap through the Spring Trap Order tests and legislation.
- Continuing with funding research into a grey squirrel lure and always on the lookout for new and novel grey squirrel control methods.
- Welcoming new trustees and members of the management committee to keep our focus sharp and current.
- Reviewing our position on Pine Marten as a biological control predator for the grey squirrel.
- Reviewing the research potential regarding the scale of the landscape impact of grey squirrel damage.