Red Squirrel rewilding project gets boost from bumper year of new babies.
- Amazing images of Wildwood’s rare Red Squirrel babies have been captured, marking a huge boost to save this rare species and help return them across the UK.
- Red Squirrels were wiped out in most of England and Wales, but a new collaborative effort has seen the first serious project for their reintroduction to the mainland.
- Wildwood Trust has helped repopulate The North Wales Island of Anglesey with Red Squirrels over the last 12 years, but as the native reds recolonise the mainland, Wildwood is now providing Red Squirrels to give support to their expansion and ensure their spread throughout the U.K.
In a major rewilding effort The Red Squirrel Trust, Bangor University, Welsh Mountain Zoo and Wildwood Trust have been working together on reintroducing Red Squirrels to Anglesey and expanding their range back to the mainland. Wildwood Trust has been successfully breeding Red Squirrels for over 14 years, and visitors to the popular Canterbury based wildlife charity have been thrilled to see the antics of the new baby Red Squirrels this month; an animal which is normally reclusive during the rest of the year.
Reversing 100 years of extinction is one of the main charitable goals of Wildwood Trust and the new babies are great news for the future. Once grown up, the squirrels will be sent to the Welsh Mountain Zoo before reintroduction by Red Squirrels Trust Wales and Bangor University staff, enabling them to live wild and free, helping form a buffer population to safeguard the species against national extinction.
Red squirrels went extinct in Kent in the 1960's, but many can still remember them from their childhood when Kent once teemed with these beautiful acrobats of the trees!
Peter Smith, Wildwood Trust's Chief Executive said:
"Red squirrels are one of the most beautiful animals in the U.K. and visitors can watch these playful animals over the summer until they have grown up enough to be released to the wild. If we can help restore areas of woodland to a native state, reintroduce animals like Pine Martens to control invasive Grey Squirrels, we might just be able to tip the balance back in the Red Squirrel's favour. Our eventual plan is to once again see them back across Southern Britain, including Kent.
Wildwood Trust opened in 1999 as a centre of excellence for the conservation of British wildlife, and was established as a registered charity in 2002. Wildwood is Kent's best British wildlife park. Home to over 200 native animals, past and present and set in 40 acres of beautiful ancient woodland where visitors can see bears, wolves, bison, deer, owls, foxes, red squirrels, wild boar, lynx, wild horses, badgers and beavers plus many more. As one of the leading British animal conservation charities in the UK, Wildwood Trust is dedicated to saving Britain's most threatened wildlife. Wildwood Trust have taken part in many ground-breaking conservation programmes to date, which include, saving the water vole, using wild horses to help restore Kent's most precious nature reserves, bringing the extinct European beaver back to Britain and returning the hazel dormouse & red squirrel to areas where they have been made extinct.
Wildwood Trust Herne Common Herne Bay Kent CT6 7LQ