The mid Wales forests are a hive of activity as red squirrels prepare for winter, burying surplus nuts and seeds for harsher times in caches. Red squirrels have quite a talent for food preparation, and have been known to dry out fungi in tree crevices; dried fungi produces a more nutritious meal.
Red squirrels don’t hibernate over the winter months, although activity can be much reduced in very cold weather. Winter preparations include making sure that their dreys, a series of nests made from intricately woven twigs with an internal moss-lined chamber, are sturdy and warm enough to see them through the winter. Read more>> including a Pine Marten update.
The year so far has been a real mixture of squirrel activity in terms of both red and grey. The grey control team once again have done a fantastic job and it is their relentless control work that has saved reds in some areas, and enabled reds to return in others. We have seen sudden and quite substantial grey influxes in places and in others, we have seen reds turn up for the first time in many years. As always, I’d like to stress that grey control is not a side of red conservation that is taken lightly, but is absolutely necessary to ensure the survival of the reds. It is only through controlling the grey populations that the reds can survive.
We have included some photos in this edition of the newsletter sent to us by people who have seen their first reds in several years. Some of these photos plus many more are on our Facebook page. Read more>>
Penrith & District Red Squirrel Group is now a victim of its own success. We are delighted to have resident red squirrels across the whole of our managed area of 650 square miles covered by our contracted Rangers and their supporters. There is little doubt that without the Rangers’ work, reds would have all but disappeared. However this success comes at a huge annual cost and we really are struggling to raise the £120,000 a year needed to keep this up.
We know that any let up will allow greys to spread back very quickly and undo brilliant progress made. Read more>>
Welcome to the August issue of E-News. We’re always delighted to receive reports of red squirrels to www.westmorlandredsquirrels.org.uk/sightings, particularly when they’re in places where they’re rarely seen or reported. In the past couple of months reds have been spotted around Oxenholme, Natland, Summerlands, Endmoor, Beetham and Slackhead. Read more>>
Red Squirrels In My Garden is a new E-book written by Craig Shuttleworth and Liz Halliwell. It gives guidance and tips to help conserve local populations and can be downloaded free of charge as a PDF here>>
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>>