Rosy future for Newcastle's red squirrels
North East Red Squirrels has been awarded a grant from Postcode Local Trust, funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, to deliver a community engagement programme to preserve Newcastle's red squirrels.
The project aims to restore the red squirrel population through engagement with local people, community groups, schools and businesses by providing educational workshops, talks, activities and training to increase their understanding of red squirrel conservation.
Steve Barrett, Project coordinator, said:
"Volunteers and red squirrel organisations have been working to maintain red squirrels in Northumberland, within strongholds at Kielder and Wallington Hall, but so far there has been little direct activity in Newcastle.”
John Littleton, Trustee, said:
“This project is very exciting and will allow us to take a more active role in focusing conservation efforts in the immediate urban environment. Newcastle is believed to be the last English city with a population of the UK-endangered and legally protected red squirrel. The development of an Adopt a Wood scheme will enable local communities to take ownership of their red squirrels and allow more people to see this iconic species on their doorstep."
North East Red Squirrels aims to recruit 60 volunteers to develop and maintain four new community groups, with a view to engaging 400 local residents to monitor squirrel activity. This will involve reporting sightings and monitoring cameras and feeders.