Non-lethal ways of reducing invasive grey squirrel populations

Work is being stepped up to develop an oral contraceptive specifically for controlling grey squirrels, which are such a threat to our red squirrels. A report in The Independent summarises the next phase of work by the Government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency to develop the vaccine and design grey-only traps. More details here: . The same story is covered in The Times

P&DRSG – Winter Newsletter 2016

Maybelle - Red squirrel rescued by Penrith & District Red Squirrel Group

Maybelle is free again

It gives us great pleasure to anounce the safe release of Maybelle the red squirrel back into the wilds of Haweswater. Maybelle was rescued by Jerry & Sarah back in May after she was found wandering in the grounds of Haweswater Hotel. After plenty of TLC, the tiny red squirrel kitten was strong enough to fend for herself and quickly learned how to use a squirrel feeder and enjoyed cosy nights in her own nesting box.  Read more>>

Morpeth & District Red Squirrels – Winter 2016

MAD logoBy the end of October the MADRS grey control team had passed the 600 mark of grey squirrels removed from our patch. It is this essential work that is the greatest contributing factor to helping to safeguard our endangered native reds. However, without the support of the public who report sightings and also from private households who monitor traps in their gardens, we would not be able to achieve these results. As always it is the ‘many a mickle meks a muckle’ approach that collectively produces these outstanding results. (‘Many a small makes a big’ for those who are struggling with my grannies old saying).  Read more>>

‘Squirrel’ published by ESI – Issue 33, November 2016

ESI_Logo_210wideOver the last year or so, we have noticed that some public sector officials seem to be concerned about the public perception issue of grey squirrel control and worried about a backlash. You would think that we are beyond such worries, but this could be due to rotation or retirement of staff and new staff coming into post and to counteract any concerns we decided to run our public perception survey after a 5 year holiday.

I am delighted to report that awareness about the grey squirrel problem remains at broadly the same high level as before and support for grey squirrel control is still high. The full results are published later in the magazine… Read more>>

Westmorland Red Squirrels – Autumn 2016

WRS LogoThe unexpectedly low number of greys this year is very welcome, but presents us with our next challenge which is to keep it that way—by stopping any remaining greys from breeding back to their previous levels.
Adrian Vass, Director of the UK Squirrel Accord (UKSA), spoke at our AGM about a pilot scheme in the National Forest to put woodland owners in touch with volunteer shooters. In this issue, the article by Steve Bloomfield describes the scheme in more detail. If there’s sufficient interest in the scheme from local landowners we can take this further, so please get in touch to let me know your views. Read more>>

Wight Squirrel Project Newsletter – Autumn 2016

Leprosy on a red squirrel’s ear

Leprosy on a red squirrel’s ear

Leprosy in red squirrels is a recent discovery, not because it is a new disease but because nobody had picked up on it before. As it is widespread, from Scotland to the Isle of Wight and Brownsea, it’s likely it has been around in red squirrel populations for centuries. When I started working with red squirrels 25 years ago I noticed some had ‘warty ears’ but thought no more of it as they bred and seemed well in other respects. It takes a long time for the disease to progress so most animals would die of something else before the leprosy really took hold.  Read more>>

Invitation from Red Squirrels Northern England

Red Squirrel Conservation Gatherings 2016


This has been a busy year and we would like to invite you to our Red Squirrel Conservation Gathering events for a chance to catch up and meet like-minded folks. There will be two events:

Red Squirrel Conservation Gathering – North West

Saturday 5th November, 10am – 2pm

Shap Wells Hotel

Lunch provided – please let us know of any dietary requirements when you book your tickets.

Please click here to see an agenda for the day and to book your tickets. Booking essential as places are limited.

Please contact Simon O’Hare by email ​or by calling 07748 269260 if you require further information.

Red Squirrel Conservation Gathering – North East

Saturday 12th November, 10am – 2pm

Stannington Village Hall

Lunch provided – please let us know of any dietary requirements when you book your tickets.

Please click here to see an agenda for the day and to book your tickets. Booking essential as places are limited.

Please contact Heinz Traut by email or by calling 07887782835 if you require further information. 


Mid Wales Red Squirrel Partnership Red Squirrel News – Autumn 2016

MWRSP-logoGood news has been received over the summer – the European Commission have finally published a list of 37 species to which the EU Invasive Alien Species Regulation will apply; the grey squirrel is on the list! The EU Regulation requires Member States to put in place surveillance and rapid response mechanisms and to develop management action plans to prevent the introduction, or manage the spread of, invasive non-native species.   Although the British public have voted to leave the European Union, this process will take some years and therefore will not affect the implementation of the IAS regulation. Unlike England and Scotland, Wales does not currently have a policy on the control of grey squirrels. We anticipate that this move will boost the momentum to produce a Grey Squirrel Policy for Wales.  Watch this space!

© Vincent Wildlife TrustJust what impact are those pine martens having on our squirrels? Find out how Chris Harris is playing his part in the Pine Marten Restoration Project and get the latest news from our trail cams. A Vincent Wildlife Trust (VWT) remote camera has captured some amazing pine marten footage of a kit trying to take its first steps out of the box and then falling.  Mum comes to the rescue, but is mid-lunch when it happens and she has a grey squirrel in her mouth! Mum drops the squirrel and rescues her wayward kit, carrying it back up the tree before returning for her squirrel.

This fabulous clip>> demonstrates that grey squirrel control might be one positive outcome of the VWT’s Pine Marten Restoration Project.  Read more>>