© Peter Skillen
Northumberland Wildlife Trust and their partners are determined to stop the extinction of native red squirrels on the English mainland. And unless we act quickly and decisively, these beautiful and appealing creatures will be lost forever.
Northumberland is one of the last major strongholds for red squirrels in England. Non-native grey squirrels continue to drive our reds from their traditional woodlands by out-competing them for food and by spreading the deadly Squirrelpox virus.
Sadly, the two species cannot co-exist and we have deployed a team of rangers to control grey squirrels in areas important to reds, adding to the current efforts of land managers and local voluntary groups, without whom the red squirrel would already have disappeared completely.
But research has identified a very specific and urgent threat
Recent monitoring by Red Squirrels Northern England (RSNE) shows three of the nine Red Squirrel Reserves in Northumberland are heavily populated by breeding grey squirrels, putting the remaining red squirrels in real danger. These reserves all lie south of Hexham in the Slaley area. It is now clear that without immediate action, we will lose the red squirrels in these three important reserves.
It is possible to change this dreadful scenario with your help
Our aim is to protect and increase red squirrel populations in the Slaley area over the next five years. To achieve this, we will employ three full time Rangers to work in these reserves carrying out grey squirrel control. We will also intensify our monitoring work throughout the area, helping us to evidence conservation gains.
Why your donation is important in saving the red squirrel from extinction
We need to raise £20,000 to kick-start this project, giving red squirrels some breathing space while we secure longer term funding. With your help, we will turn these woodlands back into a safe haven for our beloved native red squirrel.
Please create a future for these animals and support this appeal
We do appreciate whatever you can give, particularly in these times of economic uncertainty. But we need to have the foresight to realise that if we do not act now we will lose something truly precious.
How you can donate
By visiting our secure Donations page (this can also be reached by clicking the 'Donate Now' button above) and paying by credit or debit card|
By post: send a cheque (with Red Squirrel Appeal marked on the back) made payable to Northumberland Wildlife Trust Ltd and send it FREEPOST to Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Garden House, St Nicholas Park, Jubilee Road, Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE3 1BR
- By telephone: call 0191 284 6884 and we can take credit/debit card payments over the phone
How else you can help
Share this appeal information with friends, family and work colleagues: Twitter @redsquirrelsne and Facebook.com/redsquirrelsnorthernengland
Report your sightings at www.rsne.org.uk/sightings or call 0191 284 6884
Join a local group – www.northernredsquirrels.org.uk or call 0191 284 6884
- Put up road signs with landowner permission – call 0191 284 6884
By giving to this appeal you are helping to save one of Britain’s most endangered and endearing creatures - thank you for your support.
Did you know?
- Red squirrels contaminated by the Squirrelpox virus usually die within 2 weeks from lesions and sores. Grey squirrels are virus carriers and are largely unaffected by it.
- Red squirrels have been protected by law in the UK since 1981 and it is illegal to intentionally injure, catch or kill them, disturb their dreys, or cut down trees with dreys in them.
- Grey squirrels are classed as vermin in the UK, and it is illegal to release a grey squirrel back into the wild once it has been caught.