Why do Red Squirrels matter?
Made eternally popular through Beatrix Potter character Squirrel Nutkin, children and adults across the UK are familiar with the cheeky and daring nature of the impish animals. Sadly though, red squirrels have suffered and their population has been in decline since the introduction of the grey squirrel in the 1950s. Today one of our most loved iconic species won’t be known to future generations unless we all work together.
The plight of the red squirrel is recognised in local, regional, national and international conservation policies. It is afforded the highest level of protection under UK law, the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
What is Red Squirrels United?
Red Squirrels United marks the biggest ever coalition of academics and delivery partners working together on a scientifically robust programme of conservation for our iconic red squirrels. The initiative unites eight partners in a four year UK-wide programme.
Community-based rapid response teams will be created involving more than 1,200 volunteers who will be trained to conserve key red squirrel populations threatened by their interaction with non-native grey squirrels. The programme will build together large networks of volunteers championing this charismatic creature into one coordinated and strategic force for good.
Red Squirrels United is receiving €1.6 million of funding from EU LIFE. The project unites more than 30 different organisations and is supported by UK Government nature conservation agencies.
Who makes up Red Squirrels United?
Red Squirrels United is led by The Wildlife Trusts in partnership with Newcastle University, Forest Research, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Red Squirrels Trust Wales, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Ulster Wildlife and The Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales.
The Wildlife Trusts has more than 20 years of experience in managing social and environmental grant programmes totalling over £250 million, and proven successes working with and empowering people to make significant environmental and societal impacts across the UK.