Roaming reds hit Newcastle

Wednesday 29th September 2010

As Red Squirrel Week approaches

In the run up to red squirrel week – Saturday 2 to Sunday 10 October – Northumberland Wildlife Trust has reported some exciting sightings that could mean the native mammal’s population is expanding into a new urban location.

In the last week, staff at the Trust have seen at least one red regularly visiting the grounds of its headquarters in St Nicholas Park, Newcastle, news of which has triggered a number of other sightings being reported in the area.

The good news comes as the Trust’s red squirrel conservation team, Save our Squirrels (SoS), prepares to join the Forestry Commission and Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo, for the launch of his new book How to keep a pet squirrel at events hosted by Kielder Castle and Fenwick Department Store, Newcastle on Saturday 2 October.

By donating ten pence from every copy sold to red squirrel conservation in the north of England, Axel and publishers Faber and Faber hope to provide a further boost to the UK’s population of reds.

Carri Nicholson is project manager for (SoS). She said:

“The recent sightings have really bolstered our hopes that the red squirrel population in nearby Gosforth Park has risen, and that the squirrels we are seeing in Newcastle are overspill from there. This could be a sign that conservation efforts in the county are really paying off.
“Extra funding for our conservation efforts can only be a blessing, and we are delighted that Axel will be using his new book to help raise awareness of the plight of the reds in England, and making a generous donation too.

“These are all reasons to celebrate this year’s Red Squirrel Week even more enthusiastically.”

Red squirrels are under threat in the UK, and conservation efforts are vital to ensure their survival. The Wildlife Trusts hope that Red Squirrel Week will hope raise awareness of their plight, and encourage people to report sightings to the their local Wildlife Trust.

To find out how you can get involved with Red Squirrel Week, contact Save our Squirrels www.saveoursquirrels.org.

 

Story by RSWT