First Annual Meeting of Forum held

The first Annual Meeting of the Forum was held on Saturday 27 October. An impressive 50 people attended, including representatives from our Squirrel Groups/Networks (and one in the making!), along with SSRS Spring Survey volunteers and SSRS Staff. People came from Ayr and Berwick, so we straddled the whole region as intended! Here is the programme notice detailing who made the main presentations during this all day gathering. RSFSS invite 27 Oct 18

We started with 5-minute updates on the state of play from each of our nine developing Groups/Networks. Here are some notes from each of them:

Berwick JB SOSBG 2018

Solway Forests JB SFRSN Summary of activities

Mid Nithsdale JB Mid Nithsdale Red Squirrels 2018-2019

Lower Nithsdale JB Lower Nithsdale Red Squirrel Group

Kirkcudbright JB Kirkcudbright Red Squirrel Group

Hawick JB Hawick

Glenkens JB Glenkens

Gatehouse JB Gatehouse SG

Annandale JB Annandale

Mel Tonkin (SSRS Project Manager) then gave us a comprehensive update on the whole project, including progress towards reclaiming Aberdeen completely for reds, and preventing the spread of greys across the Highland Line. JB SSRS_Presentation for RSFSS_2018 MT

Next we heard from three speakers who kindly came up from the North of England. Julie Bailey (Chair, Northern Red Squirrels – Cumbria) gave us a mind-blowing insight into the massive effort made over decades to stem the tide in favour of reds across the North of England. JB NRS Julie Bailey

Bob Cartwright (UK Squirrel Accord) updated us on the Animal & Plant Health Agency’s research project. JB Grey Squirrel Contraception synopsis

Mike Green (Kielder Project, Red Squirrels United) impressed us with video images and his experience of using thermal (infrared) imagers to spot squirrels so much more effectively than by sight alone. Unfortunately this technology does not show grey images of grey squirrels!: all hot objects show up very brightly though. JB Thermal imaging MG

Finally there was a lengthy discussion led by Gill Hatcher (SSRS Communications & Engagement Officer) on the development and operation of local groups/networks. JB Forum discussion synopsis GH

Thanks are due to SSRS for sponsorship of this event, and to Christine Cox (Manager) and her volunteers at the Johnstonebridge Centre for providing us with such excellent facilities and  a lovely lunch!

 

 
Posted 14th November 2018, by Peter G