By developing a Red Squirrel Village, we are providing an opportunity for the public to see this rare native species and learn about their threats in the wild. In addition, we will be producing young, in coordination with the national breeding programme, to provide a selection of animals for movement between breeders to maximise the maintenance of genetic diversity and reduce the likelihood of inbreeding. We will also be adding to the selection of Red Squirrels for any proposed wild release.
The Hollybush Woodland at Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre was planted by us 10 years ago and is home to 1500 native trees, including 400 oak trees.
We will be creating a network of runways and enclosures around the pond. Several enclosures will provide the opportunity to separate breeding pairs, or groups of youngsters as appropriate. Runways will connect them all through the trees and over the pond, giving the squirrels the opportunity to run and chase! Branches, ropes and other climbing materials will be provided to construct Squirrel gyms, and materials such as leaves, twigs, moss and hay will be available for the Squirrels to construct their own dreys.
By creating a natural environment, with plenty of enrichment, we hope that our Red Squirrels will settle in quickly and start breeding soon.
The total cost of the project is over £7,000 and that is why we need your help.
How can you help?
We have a number of ways you can support this project:
£5 or £10 Donation Only
£20 Donation gives you a named plaque at the Red Squirrel Village
£50 Sponsors Pack – Includes: Red Squirrel Soft Toy, Family Admission Ticket, Sponsors Pack (including Certificate, Red Squirrel Information Sheet and Red Squirrel Photos), Named plaque in the red squirrel village
£100 Sponsors Pack – Includes: Red Squirrel Soft Toy, Adult Membership for 2, Sponsors Pack (including Certificate, Red Squirrel Information Sheet and Red Squirrel Photos), Named plaque in the red squirrel village.
All donations and purchases can be made here: https://cotebrook.digitickets.co.uk/category/24296
Invite your company to make a corporate sponsorship
Why are red squirrels endangered?
The Red Squirrel is officially classified by the IUCN Red list as Near Threatened in the UK and in most areas is extinct. but is locally common in Scotland.
The main cause behind their decline is the introduction of grey squirrels from America in the 1870’s. The Grey is classified as a destructive pest in the UK under the Wildlife & Countryside Act.
- Grey squirrels carry a disease, Parapoxvirus, to which they are immune but which often kills Red Squirrels.
- The Grey squirrel is much larger so will decimate food sources before Reds can get to them.
- When Red Squirrels are put under pressure they will not breed as often.
- The loss of woodland over the last 50 years has taken away their habitat
- Road traffic and predators are all threats too.