Garsdale Red Squirrels

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Progress Report March 2015

We have just received a batch of hair tubes from Red Squirrels Northern England so we can begin a population study in Garsdale. It's important we have data on our squirrel populations to enable conservation work and funding to be justified with accurate facts and figures. Hair tubes are placed around the area so we will know if that area has reds or greys (or no squirrels). The tubes have a small sticky pad inside them and when squirrels (tempted in by a few nuts) pass under the pads a few of their loose hairs stick to them. These can then be analysed and by logging the numbered tubes, their locations, and what (if any) squirrel hairs are captured we can build up a detailed picture of our squirrel population and any changes. This is particularly important when there is extensive forestry activity in the area so we understand the effect this has on a protected species.

 

We have permission from a number of landowners, both woodland and open ground, to place the tubes and check the results.

 

We'd also like to place autonomous trail cameras (which detect movement and can be left in place for long periods) around the area to capture still and video images of the local wildlife and have applied for funding to help with the cost.

 

Progress Report February 2015

Our group, now numbering 38 locals has been recognised for the work it is doing with regard to red squirrel conservation and habitat management. Recent articles have appeared in the local Westmorland Gazette and the national Daily Telegraph on local efforts to help red squirrels in Garsdale and we are currently working with the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Red Squirrels Northern England to develop and implement funded projects in the dale.

Sedbergh Primary School Visit January 2015

Sue and Dave visited the school today to talk to the children about red squirrels. As well as showing them photos of local squirrels we talked about how they live and how we can help them survive. A field visit by the children to watch reds in person is planned, and we hope to set up school feeding stations and a webcam so the children can see their squirrels every day.

Assistance was provided by Cyril, or cuddly toy red squirrel.