What conservation work are we carrying out?
Red Squirrels United is the first UK wide network working together to secure the future of our red squirrels.
Our practical conservation work focuses on early warning monitoring systems and squirrel surveying to enable grey squirrel management to be carried out effectively in woodlands. We aim to prevent grey squirrels from entering woodlands that are only inhabited by red squirrels.
We are protecting nine red squirrel strongholds across the UK in Wales, England and Northern Ireland and are working together with Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels to ensure a joined up approach to red squirrel conservation is taken across the whole of the UK.
The Isle of Anglesey is the only Welsh county that does not contain grey squirrels following successful eradication. 60% of Welsh red squirrels are now found on the island and they are beginning to recolonise mainland woodlands. Red Squirrels United is supporting a new grey squirrel control effort in Gwynedd to prevent grey squirrels from recolonising the island and to allow the red squirrel population to expand.
Clocaenog forest once held the largest population of red squirrels in Wales, but numbers have dramatically decreased. Red Squirrels United is focussing on community engagement to raise awareness of red squirrels and increasing the presence of red squirrels in the area through grey squirrel population management.
- Tywi Forest
Tywi forest holds the last remaining red squirrel population in south Wales. Red Squirrels United is increasing the presence of red squirrels in the forest through grey squirrel population management and raising awareness of red squirrels through community engagement.
- Kielder Forest
Kielder, Uswayford and Kidland forests are the only grey-squirrel free woodlands in England. Red Squirrels United is targeting their conservation work in this area to prevent colonisation of these woodlands by grey squirrels and protect red squirrel populations.
This isolated red squirrel population has expanded to the edges of Liverpool, Southport and Scarisbrick, greatly reducing their vulnerability to extinction. Red Squirrels United is managing grey squirrel populations in this area to benefit these red squirrels.
- Mourne mountains
It is likely that grey squirrels have entered this area from the north, as the Mourne Mountains and the sea form a natural barrier in other directions. Red Squirrels United is eradicating grey squirrels from the Mourne Mountains to provide a refuge for red squirrels.
- Glens of Antrim
Red squirrel conservation is being carried out by volunteers in the Glens of Antrim. Red Squirrels United will provide them with additional support to enable continued grey squirrel management.
Fermanagh holds the most westerly population of red squirrels in Northern Ireland. Red Squirrels United is raising awareness in this area through community engagement and supporting local volunteer groups.
- North West of Northern Ireland
Red squirrel populations remain in Derry and Strabane. Red Squirrels United is recruiting volunteers to help with red squirrel conservation and providing support to establish local red squirrel groups.