Thanks to businesses across Cumbria that were busy fundraising last year, we were delighted to be able to make a grant of £ 2,913 to Red Squirrels Northern England this week (12th January 2018).
The red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) is the only species of squirrel native to England. As a native species, the red squirrel is an integral part of our countryside and our natural heritage. Red Squirrels Northern England (RSNE) is a red squirrel conservation partnership working right across northern England.
RSNE conduct an annual red and grey squirrel monitoring programme in 294 sites across northern England. The programme, which involves surveys using trail cameras, visual walks through woodlands, or observed squirrel feeders, has now successfully delivered annual range monitoring for 6 years.
Red squirrels captured on a trail camera during monitoring at Smardale Gill, Cumbria, spring 2017
Around 150 people were involved in surveys across the project area, and 72% of all surveys were carried out by volunteers, managed by project staff.
RSNE manages all of the data for northern England, working with other conservation organisations, private estates and over 30 local community red squirrel groups to capture all of the effort being put in to conserve reds.
Volunteers setting up hair tubes to survey for squirrels in Grizedale as part of the RSNE spring 2017 monitoring programme
The team has also been involved in a national project, Red Squirrels United, working with partners in Wales, Northern Ireland and Lancashire to conserve reds. The partnership is offering unique opportunities to share working practices and ideas with other projects, is helping encourage more community participation, and is gathering important information on public attitudes to red squirrel conservation.
There is also a scientific element to the project, and field data recorded by RSNE is being analysed by Newcastle University in order to support the collective work to protect reds become more efficient.
You can help RSNE to monitor the population of red squirrels by logging your sightings of red squirrels on the RSNE website.