HOW CAN YOU HELP
The Isle of Wight Red Squirrel Trust’s sister Project, Wight Squirrel Project carries out the majority of red squirrel work on the Island and they have shared some tips on how Islanders and visitors can help in their conservation.
If you have red squirrels in your garden then providing a safe feeding place and varied diet can help them survive in times of food shortage. Squirrels usually leave gardens in the autumn when their natural food is abundant.
Where there are red squirrels, with or without greys present, then someone will be monitoring them. On the Island you can contact Wight Squirrel Project to report sightings or you can download their App Epicollect5 to do this.
Wight Squirrel Project’s App
collect ears from dead squirrels
However unsavoury this may seem, these provide useful information about the health of red squirrels in the area. Ears can provide valuable data without the need to capture live animals. If you suspect that the squirrel may have leprosy then and only then, will the entire corpse be required.
Please contact Wight Squirrel Project (www.wightsquirrels.co.uk ) to report if you find a dead squirrel on the Isle of Wight. If you find a dead red squirrel elsewhere then please contact the local Wildlife Trust.
Look at Planning Applications
Does a planning application affect red squirrels? Does it break a ‘corridor’ between woodland or encroach into a wood?
We encourage you to look at Isle of Wight planning applications and question any which you think could affect Red Squirrels’ habitats.
Time stamped photographs of squirrels in / using the woodland / corridors will be very helpful should you contest any planning applications.
HOW IOWRST & WSP ARE HELPING
These do help on quieter lanes, however they have not had an impact when used on the busiest roads.
The Forestry Commission has provided funds to plant corridors between ancient woodlands which should aid future generations of red squirrels on the Island There are also grants to manage existing woodland and to plant new woods.
Happily, the IoW Council has written a ‘Red Squirrel Strategy’ that advocates the importance of habitat management and corridors.
This is a crucial part of the conservation of Red Squirrels & the primary purpose of the Isle of Wight Red Squirrel Trust.
We carry books, dvds and leaflets to assist people in learning more about them and playing an active part in their conservation.
We also have a number of volunteers available to give fabulous educational talks and we invite you to reach out to us if you would like to book a talk for your school, club, event etc