Red Squirrel walk
Thu 27th June 2013
Red squirrels in the UK are under threat from the introduced grey squirrel. Numbers in the UK have fallen from a onetime high thought to be around 3.5 million, to a current estimated population of around 120,000.
Tonight was the night that many of us had hoped to see these shy creatures.
Russell who was leading the walk had set up some feeding stations and had photographed some red squirrels feeding at some of them.
During our introduction we learnt the population in England is thought to be as low as 15,000. The most significant threat associated with grey squirrels is the spread and transmission of a disease called squirrelpox virus. Grey squirrels do not suffer from the virus but once a red has become infected they will invariably die within two weeks.
Russell gave us a very detailed background about the red squirrel and as we headed down into the forest the anticipation was building as we all kept our eyes peeled.
After brief overview of what was ahead we headed off to see one of the feeders but sadly nothing could be spotted and as we climbed up to the road again past another feeder the Red Squirrels where having the final laugh.
I hope you agree it was a very informative evening and hopefully we will all know a little more and be more successful in spotting red squirrels in the future.
Red Squirrels Northern England (RSNE) is a project that aims to increase red squirrel.
Their work is principally based in Cumbria, Northumberland, Merseyside, Lancashire, north-west Durham and the Yorkshire Dales, in and close to areas where red squirrels are still living free in the landscape.
You can report sightings of red squirrels, join local groups and find out places you can visit where you can enjoy red squirrels.
To find out more about their work, please visit www.rsne.org.uk