Red squirrels are nature’s tree planters. Collecting thousands of seeds every autumn, they often forget their buried hoards. Each spring, these perfectly planted seeds take root to expand our native forests across the landscape.
Sadly, red squirrels are now very rare. Disease and competition from the introduced grey squirrel have devastated their numbers, and over the centuries, their forest homes have been reduced to isolated remnants. Just 140,000 red squirrels are left in the UK today, and their population is still declining.
Although we’re planting more trees, and many forests in the north-west Highlands could provide suitable habitats, red squirrels have not returned. The simple fact is that they can’t cross open ground, making it impossible for red squirrels to reach these forests without our help.
Unless urgent action is taken, these enchanting animals could disappear from our forests forever. Please make a donation today and together we can grow red squirrel numbers in the Highlands!
In partnership with our expert Patron, Roy Dennis from the Highland Foundation for Wildlife, we are planning to launch our Red Squirrel Project this summer. Our staff and volunteers will collect small numbers of red squirrels from areas where they are thriving, and carefully move them into suitable forests in the north-west Highlands.
Quite literally, your donation to our appeal will help to bring back the first red squirrels to have lived in these forests for decades.
Once established, these new populations will multiply over the years. Roy has already pioneered this work and achieved great results. For example, 40 red squirrels that were moved into woodlands near Ullapool in 2008 have now expanded into a thriving population of 400.
We have set an ambitious target to establish ten new populations over the next three years. This could help to increase the numbers of red squirrels in Scotland by more than 10%, which would be a tremendous achievement.
We’re applying for grants towards this new project, but to qualify for them, we need to raise £15,000 in matched funding.
Your donation is crucial to this, and will help our expert staff and volunteers to:
Please play a key role in this exciting initiative, by giving a donation today.Together, we can bring back nature’s tree planters to the forests where they belong.
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