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Cornish Red Squirrels – go on, you know you want to see Squirrel Nutkin

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Trelowarren, yes US on the Lizard, is leading the way in the Red Squirrel reintroduction programme for Cornwall.

People in Cornwall remember seeing Red Squirrels and it is the ambition of the Cornwall Red Squirrel project to move slowly towards reintroduction on the Lizard.

Q and A

red-squirrels-at-trelowarrenWhy choose the Lizard? Well, we have a pretty decent border in the Helford River and this will help keep the grey squirrels out. Trelowarren has some excellent Red Squirrel habitat and so does the rest of the Lizard.

Why do you need to get rid of the Grey Squirrels? Sadly for both the Greys and the Reds, the Grey squirrels carry a disease, attractively called squirrel pox, which kills Red Squirrels. Greys also live in much denser numbers and compete for the same food as the Reds so there is no way they can share the same habitat.

Why start culling Grey Squirrels now? The Forestry Commission, The National Trust and most woodland owners have been culling Grey Squirrels for decades because of the damage they do to young woodland. The process is controlled by strict protocols and is handled as humanely as possible.

How do you cull the grey Squirrels? Good question. There are two ways: Live trapping and poison. The live trapping is most popular with our volunteers and landowners who are keen to minimise stress and suffering. Once set, the traps are visited are visited at least once in every 24 hours for dispatching the squirrels.

When and where will we be able to see the Red Squirrels? We’re quite a long way from the re-introduction because we have to prove scientifically that the Red Squirrels can be protected. We have employed a full time warden and the number of volunteers is growing but it will be at least a couple of years before the project is ready for re-introduction. Where?? Well here at Trelowarren of course.

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