Red Squirrels Find New Home On Tresco

An animal that is under increasing pressure on the mainland could be introduced to the islands.

Mike Nelhams from Tresco Estates told us they are at an advanced stage in planning the introduction of red squirrels to the island’s woodland.

Mike says they’ve been working on the scheme for about three years after it was first suggested by Daily Telegraph wildlife columnist, and regular visitor to Tresco, Robin Page.

They have been taking scientific advice on the best way to introduce the endangered mammals from squirrel expert, Dr Craig Shuttleworth, and the scheme has the backing of Prince Charles, who is patron of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust.

But Mike says they still have some work to do.

Squirrels are not indigenous to Tresco so they need to be careful that they won’t rapidly breed or cause other problems.

In particular, they have to look at the food source to make sure they won’t attack the various plant species on the island, and they’ll be released in the woodlands away from any areas of special scientific interest.

The plan is to source six genetically-different pairs from Paradise Park in Hayle, to ensure there’s no inbreeding.

And if all goes well, they could arrive in their new home by February next year.



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