Pleased to read Sally Williams' report in today's Western Mail that the Red Squirrel is making a strong comeback on the Island of Anglesey. Menter Mon has been leading the re-introduction effort for the last 11 years, and ecologist Craig Shuttleworth reckons that there are 150 Red Squirrels scampering around the Newborough Forest at the moment. This is a truly amazing achievement, and this blog is flushed with the excitement of it all.
There have been two basic strands to the successful strategy. Firstly there has been the complex work involved in expanding the Red Squirrel breeding programme, and secondly there's the rather more 'negative' side which involves the culling of the horrible Grey Squirrel. The report claims that 7,000 have been despatched and that there are only 50 of these 'rats with tails' now left on the Island. That's 50 too many in my opinion. I've been interested in this work for many years, and have to admit that reading a report such as that written by Sally was something I hadn't expected ever to read. Maybe someday, we may see the Red Squirrel scampering around Montgomeryshire again, as they were a few decades ago.