Solway Forests Red Squirrel Network

The Solway Forests Red Squirrel Network started up in August 2017. We have been meeting on a bi-monthly basis. The project area encompasses the Solway forests along the coast from Dumfries to Dalbeattie and further west to pick-up Palnackie and Auchencairn to join our northern boundary following the A711. The forests are largely managed by FCS but there are plenty of privately owned woodland plots in between. Up until the last two years we have enjoyed a healthy red squirrel population but the grey squirrel has now begun to infiltrate. The main front-line for grey incursion is on our eastern boundary north and south of Dumfries. We have devised a questionnaire which we have door dropped to over 600 households across the project area inviting people to tell us about their red and grey squirrel population visiting their gardens or in their local area and to let us know of any road black spots. The feedback from these forms has helped us to direct our trap setting to manage the grey incursion. We will also be setting-up spring feeder boxes to help us detect greys and to assess red squirrel status.
Our main achievements so far have been the formation of a grey squirrel control sub-group who have been kept busy managing the grey’ incursion. We have also run a number of successful fundraising events including a fun run and woodland trail and we attended several local summer fetes last year to promote the conservation of red squirrels. We have also produced a red squirrel calendar for 2019 through a photographic competition. We are looking for new volunteers to help us on various tasks including events and grey squirrel control. If you are interested in helping us please do get in touch.

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