Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Greys Falling Back in the Battle in Our Woodlands

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Greys Falling Back in the Battle in Our Woodlands

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson Reporter ncj.ecnews@trinitymirror.com

HOPES have been raised of a turnaround in the fortunes of the region's red squirrels. Red Squirrels Northern England (RSNE) has released the results of its fifth annual red and grey squirrel survey, which has shown that reds can still be found widely across the north of England.

For the first time since the annual survey began in 2012, last year found grey squirrels present in more sites than reds.

But now RSNE reports that this has been reversed, with red squirrels detected in more sites than greys in 2016.

Factors such as wet weather and a lack of natural foods favoured by grey squirrels such as beech nuts and acorns in autumn 2015 are likely to have influenced the result, coupled with a huge conversation effort by RSNE staff, private estates and hundreds of community volunteers across the north of England working together to protect red squirrels.

This year's results have shown that the red squirrel range has remained stable from last year, with 44% of sites surveyed containing reds.

Grey squirrels have fared less well, having been found in only 37% of sites, compared to 47% last year.

This result follows two successive years of grey squirrel range expansion and provides some welcome news for the thousands of people involved in red squirrel conservation across the region.

One of the positive results came from Kyloe in Northumberland.

John Rae, co-ordinator of Save our Squirrels Berwick, said: "We were pleased that the survey once again confirms Kyloe's status as a stronghold for red squirrels.

"The reds in Kyloe have been doing very well due to our group efforts, supported by RSNE Ranger Ian Hardie. The woods are constantly and extensively monitored for grey squirrel ncursion and trapped by group volunteers when greys are detected."

If you would like to get help the group, call 07536 076131 or emailjohn. …

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