Welcome to the last edition of the Newsletter for 2015. I’m not sure where the time goes but this year seems to have flown by!
We have been extremely busy and with more people coming on board to help with grey control, MADRS has removed over 900 grey squirrels from our area up to the end of September. This has encouragingly resulted in Reds returning to cleared areas and Reds being reported in areas where we have not had sightings before. It is a constant and ongoing challenge, but with our collective efforts, there is a brighter future for our native Red Squirrels in this area! Read more>>
Red Squirrels Northern England have produced these maps below showing where red squirrel presence in Cumbria and the North East of England has been recorded so far in 2015, from January through to October. The maps combine red squirrel sightings reported by the public with data supplied by RSNE’s own rangers and by the NRS voluntary red squirrel groups, together with the results of RSNE’s own squirrel monitoring programme.
The 2014 red squirrel sightings and grey control maps produced by RSNE for the North East and North West of England, Lancashire & Merseyside and the Yorkshire Dales can be seen here>>
North East of England
In this Autumn newsletter we get an update on the Vincent Wildlife Trust’s pine marten restoration project, find out what’s been popping up on our trail cameras and get an insight into Matthew Hand’s theory of ‘Speculative Species Dispersal’. We also learn about how to deal with ‘by-catch’ and get a glimpse into goings on at Pontrhydfendigaid’s community woodland, Coed Y Bont; and there’s more .. read on>>
The possibility of re-introducing the Pine Marten for controlling grey squirrels is causing quite a stir in squirrel circles. In this issue we have two articles to put you in the picture – one by Dr Emma Sheehy of the University of Aberdeen and the other by David Bavin, Project Officer for The Vincent Wildlife Trust.
The Wildlife Ark Trust have launched a fundraising appeal on the JustGiving platform for £189,000 to pay for the modification of the Squirrel Pox Vaccine candidate. They are optimistic that if enough people become aware of the appeal their target will be hit.
Symptoms of Squirrel Pox Virus
The hope is that if the message about the Wildlife Ark Trust appeal on JustGiving can get enough publicity it will go viral; the only difference being that on this occasion a ‘virus’ will be saving the red squirrels not killing them.
If you would like to help the appeal please let all your friends know about it then tell their friends about it and so on? The link to the JustGiving page is: http://goo.gl//ttGuBj
A social media ‘virus’ would also be a massive boost for the campaign. Thank you
Two pieces of news to share :
- The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts has confirmed that the Heritage Lottery Fund have offered £1.2m of grant aid towards red squirrel conservation across Northern Ireland, Wales and northern England subject to the successful completion of development works this winter – as per the attached press release>>. If successful, the project will help RSNE continue our programme and provide across to new networking and learning opportunities for all RSNE partners and community groups with other red squirrel projects across the UK over four years.
- The team are running two Conservation Gatherings on Saturday October 17th – we would love you and interested colleagues to attend:
- North East
- North West
Many thanks for all the support.
RSNE Project Manager
The Confor Woodland Show 2015 is being held on 10 / 11 September 2015 on the Longleat Estate. For full details, see the event flyer here>>
An item on the re-introduction of the Pine Marten for grey squirrel control may be of interest – whichever side of the debate you’re on.
Q&A Panel: Species introduction
9.45 – 11.00 – 11 September 2015 in the Confor marquee
Chair: Dougal Driver
Introduction: Ian Gambles, Forestry Commission England
Panel: Jonathan Spencer (Forestry Commission); Emma Sheehy (Aberdeen University); Vincent Wildife Trust; Derek Gow; and, BASC.
Join Confor for a bacon butty and put your questions to the panel. The subject of species re-introduction is one that arouses polarised opinions. The moral argument is put forward that we exterminated these species so we should bring them back. Others note that they were exterminated for a reason, and that the factors that made them extinct in the first place e.g. habitat loss and hunting, need to have been dealt with before a re-introduction can take place. There is a legal side to it involving UN conservation body the IUCN, which requires member states to consider re-introducing species that have become extinct for, say, conservation management. This debate will focus on beavers for watercourse management and Pine martens for grey squirrel control.
Read about our recently published monitoring results, an opportunity to spend the day with Iolo Williams and lots of native wildlife and also more information about the new Environmental Stewardship scheme. More>>
Red Squirrels Northern England (RSNE) has just published the results of its annual red and grey squirrel survey, which once again confirms that red squirrels can still be found in 7 counties in northern England.
You can download the full Spring 2015 report and find out more about RSNE’s Squirrel Monitoring Programme here>>