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Dales highway for red squirrels

[Wednesday 25 October 2006]

SEVERAL small colonies of red squirrels are fighting a grim battle for survival in the Northern Yorkshire Dales - but they need our help if they are to continue to grow as an expanding population fighting off the depredations of invading greys.

red squirrel at kilnsey
Helkp for embattled Dales squirrels
Photo: Kilnsey Park

The reason: although there are five separate pockets of woodland capable of supporting red squirrels, each pocket contains too few animals to form a viable breeding colony. So the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust is launching a scheme to plant more trees to link each of the pockets to create a sort of squirrel highway.

But the work will be expensive and the charity is appealing for cash donations to get the project underway in Cotterdale, in the Hawes area of the Dales.

The trust has the opportunity this winter to link these existing red squirrel habitats by planting 21 hectares of woodland with a species mix of trees that combines native broadleaved trees with some conifer species. The planting will form a chain of five distinct but associated woodlands, which will really help to fill the gaps and improve the habitat for red squirrels.

The cost of this project will be in the order of £95,000 and to make this project happen the trust needs to ensure that funding is in place. They already have half this money secured but urgently need to secure the remainder in the next few weeks before the start of the planting season so that the project can go ahead.

The trust is appealing for donations which may, quite literally, make the difference for the survival of our native red squirrels - and will also leave a wonderful woodland landscape in Cotterdale for future generations to enjoy.

  • To make a donation please call the fundraising team on 015242 51002/4 or email: info@ydmt.org for more details.

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