Attitudes to red squirrels – November 2015
In October 2015, Red Squirrels United commissioned Forest Research (the Research Agency of the Forestry Commission) to complete a survey of public attitude on the social acceptability of methods used to manage squirrels in the UK.
In total, data from 3847 public stakeholders was collected, representative by gender, age group, and region according to UK census statistics. The results showed a majority of people like to see both red and grey squirrels, but with red squirrels being more highly valued.
It was found that awareness of local red squirrel conservation activities and grey squirrel control programmes is very low among the national sample. The evidence suggests that changing attitudes is most likely to be as a result of community involvement in wildlife management – decision-making is key to greater acceptability and support.