Launch of the Friends of Mid Wales Squirrel Group
The launch was well attended by 44 people who enjoyed lots of cake and an informative talk by Huw Denman followed by a questions and discussion session. Thanks go out to all who attended or sent their support.
The objective of our group is to help promote the importance of conserving red squirrels in Mid Wales. Possible group activities include: education and awareness; collecting sightings; identify and monitor populations of red squirrels in our area; create a network of volunteers to assist with grey squirrel control; meet with other red squirrel friends group; inform the Welsh Red Squirrel Plan.
Bryn Mawr Update
We continued to monitor the camera trap and feeder in Bryn Mawr (near Llanfair Clydogau) and from the different behaviour displayed via the camera we started to believe that there was more than one red squirrel being caught on the camera and we are happy to announce that in addition to the adult female a male and to young females have also been confirmed.
A grey squirrel was also captured on camera and thank goodness we had the camera trap to inform us or else we might not have known. We immediately removed the peanut feeder so as not to encourage the greys and avoid cohabitation of the greys with the reds. Squirrel traps were then set up and the camera was set to monitor humane trap instead. The camera showed some interesting results in that a number of greys were visiting the site (possibly young juveniles dispersing into the area) The traps were set and checked regularly and in a short period in total of six greys were removed.
If it had not been for the camera we might not have known about the presence of greys trying to move in on the reds and we definitely would not have been able to act so swiftly.
Red Squirrel Sightings
In recent weeks we have received three separate new red squirrel sightings which is very encouraging. Please do let us know if you see any yourself or hear of any other rare species like pine martins.
It would also be really helpful for records to be submitted online to the National Mammal Atlas via The Mammal Society who maintain records for the whole country. It is very easy to do and only takes a few minutes http://www.mammal.org.uk/nmap
Additionally you can also submit records to West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre http://www.wwbic.org.uk/about_wwbic.asp# Emails can be sent directly to the Species Data Officer, Kate Jones, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by post: WWBIC, Landsker Business Centre, Llwynybrain, Whitland, Carmarthenshire SA34 0NG or phone: 01994 241468
Grey Squirrel Control
Thanks goes to Aline Denton via the MISE project after funding some supplies so we can now supply interested members the following: hessian sacks, traps, maize and peanuts. Please contact Joe at Ffos-y-ffin on 01570 493619.
If you are actively trapping for grey squirrel control please let me know at least once a year roughly how many were caught so we can keep a record and pass the information on.
Becky Hulme Mid Wales Red Squirrel Project Officer for the Wildlife Trust is actively trapping in our area and is able to support anyone who wishes to help with the grey squirrel trapping and control but do not wish to deal with the squirrels themselves. Her contact details are: 07972 201202 email@example.com
Mid Wales Red Squirrel Project
Regular updates on red squirrels are posted on their facebook page, this is also where we add images and information from the monitoring at Bryn Mawr. https://www.facebook.com/RedSquirrelsMidWales
Surveying work has been done with volunteers at Cwm Berwyn and to my knowledge at least three red squirrels were identified. For more information or to be involved in future volunteer / surveying work please contact Aline Denton at the MISE project. 01974 202809 firstname.lastname@example.org
New project officer and project featured on television
The Mid Wales Red Squirrel Project is very pleased to be able to announce that we have employed, through the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, a project officer – Becky Hulme. This has been an ambition for the project for some years and due to support from Environment Wales grant funding, a part time officer has now been engaged to work with communties and volunteers and co-ordinate grey control in the project area.
In addition ITV’s Coast and Country programme featured the project on 9 May where the work of the project was featured and showing a clip of the successful capture on film of squirrels feeding using motion detection cameras.
Following the capture of a red squirrel during a trapping study in Bryn Mawr forest near Llanfair Clydogau, a camera trap and peanut feeder were installed by the Mammals in a Sustainable Environment (MISE) project. The feeder was made by Ysgol Dyffryn Aman in Ammanford. Within 2 weeks, images and video footage were captured of a red squirrel regularly visiting the feeder, and this individual has been identified as the female which was trapped earlier in the year. Sticky pads have also been attached to the lid of the feeder to collect hair samples from any visiting reds. These are sent to MISE project partners the Waterford Institute of Technology who carry out DNA testing to help us understand more about the population of mid Wales red squirrels.
The camera is being monitored by MISE volunteers, and images shared with other members of the local Friends of Red Squirrels group. Images and footage can also be found on the Mid Wales red squirrel partnership Facebook page.
Red Squirrels on Coast and Country – http://www.itv.com/news/wales/topic/coast-and-country/
March 2014 update!
This is a long overdue update on what has been happening in the project over the last couple of years. We have not been idle…
Regular sightings still come in, from forestry workers and managers, from survey trapping projects and lucky members of the public. Remember to send us in any records you may have.
Here is the current map showing records for the project area � blue is pre 1990 and red post 2000 records.
Mammals in a Sustainable Environment Project (MISE)
We have been lucky to be able to work with officers from the MISE project in Mid Wales and through their survey work with volunteers the presence of red s has been established in Cwm Berwyn forest in the north west of the project area. This was carried out using hair tubes.
Volunteers have now also helped put hair tubes up in the forest behind Rhandirmwyn where there have been sightings of reds.
In February 2012 a group of A level students and staff from Amman Valley School spent the day with the MISE project planting trees and putting up nest boxes to benefit the red squirrels in the Tywi forest in mid Wales. Students at the school are growing lodgepole pine and scots pine from seed, as part of their horticulture course. They have chosen to grow these species specifically because they provide a good food source for red squirrels. Students at Amman Valley are also building wooden nest boxes and squirrel feeders for the MISE project.
If you wish to join the volunteers in surveys please contact Aline Denton, the MISE project officer – email@example.com.
� The Wildlife Trust for South and West Wales (WTSWW) has received funding towards a project officer post – 3 days/week post for 5 years. This officer will co-ordinate grey control and work with volunteers and communities. Match funding has been found for the post from legacies to WTSWW (, Co-op plastic bag fund and the Waterloo Foundation. There is also a large element of volunteer time as matched funding.
The MWRSP will act as steering group to the post which will be hosted by WTSWW. The post will build on work of project for last 10 years.