20130902- Minister Visits Flagship Red Squirrel Project 003
20130902- Minister Visits Flagship Red Squirrel Project.
Southesk gamekeeper Sandy Mackintosh, Environmental Minister Paul Wheelhouse, SWT project director Mel Tonkin and SWT project officer Ken Neill pictured by one of the monitoring stations.
Leading Scottish conservation charity, the Scottish Wildlife Trust has welcomed a visit by the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, to Southesk Estate in Angus to see the vital work undertaken by Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels (SSRS) – one of the Trust’s flagship projects.
Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels is a project to stop the decline of Scotland’s core red squirrel populations, to contain or slow the progress of squirrelpox spread in South Scotland and to improve conditions for viable red squirrel populations across Scotland.
It is a partnership project between the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Land and Estates and Red Squirrel Survival Trust. The protection of red squirrels depends on a targeted network of project works and landowners delivering grey squirrel population control.
An important part of the project is the collection data to show whether this is achieving its goals.
Minister for Environment and Climate Change Paul Wheelhouse said:
“Red squirrels are one of Scotland’s most recognisable and loved animals and Scottish Natural Heritage have recognised public affection by listing the red squirrel as one of Scotland’s ‘Big 5’ species. The work of SSRS in raising awareness of their plight in north-east Scotland is extremely important to preserving their future here and across Scotland.
“Since SSRS was formed we have seen some positive results as we work to halt the decline of the red squirrel numbers. A lot of this is due to the excellent cooperation between landowners, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s), Forestry Commission Scotland, and Scottish Natural Heritage, which is taking place throughout many parts of Scotlan