The Rusland's Reds project has contributed to efforts that aim to restore the dominance of red squirrels throughout the scheme area.
The Rusland Valley area was identified as having a significant red squirrel population and the potential to conserve and increase these populations by reducing competition from the grey squirrel, a non-native, invasive species.
The project has put in place active monitoring and recording of existing red squirrels, identifying and controlling any threats to them. The profile of the red squirrel has also been raised amongst visitors and the community, in an attempt to protect both the squirrels and their environment.
This project was assisted by Westmorland Red Squirrels who shared their invaluable experience, knowledge and enthusiasm with a team of dedicated volunteers. They are continuing their vital work within the area, building on the project’s success and progressing with their conservation and protection of red squirrels.
- Community understanding of the threats faced by red squirrels has been increased.
- A considerable area of woodland within the scheme area is now under active management. Consideration is being given regarding planting and re-planting.
- A significant number of volunteers and landowners have been involved in the project. They have developed skills in monitoring and recording red squirrels and safe, humane control of greys.
- The South Cumbria Squirrel Management Forum has been revived and will continue to support and protect red squirrels in the local area.
- Numerous red squirrel sightings and more people now actively involved, reporting sightings and managing the grey populations.
Volunteers, and people committed to the red squirrel cause, are always needed whether you are a landowner, land manager or resident living in, or close to, the Rusland Valley.
We ask you to give whatever time you can to help us assess the size and distribution of red and grey squirrel populations and help reduce the threat posed to red squirrels through active grey squirrel control. Key tasks include monitoring feeders and wildlife cameras, reporting squirrel sightings, controlling grey squirrels (within approved guidelines) and contributing to feedback sessions.
We can provide full training and support. The tasks you undertake will be agreed through discussion, according to your interests and availability.
For further details, please download and read the volunteer roles below. If you have any questions or would like to express your interest to be involved as a volunteer, please contact Ian Lumsden.