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Education Show 2018

sq3-01Red Squirrel Education will be at the Education Show at the NEC in Birmingham from Thursday 15th to Saturday 17th March.

Do come and see us, we’re at stand K81. You’ll be able to see the Red Squirrel Education Pack, talk to those who created it and win a cuddly red squirrel for your school.

If you’re a KS2 Primary School teacher or Headteacher, come and say hello. The Red Squirrel Education Pack will be discounted for purchases at the NEC during the Education Show 2018.

 

Squirrels take over travel tweets

One of the internet’s largest travel chats was sidetracked into a red squirrel conservation discussion today. Travel Talk on Twitter (#TTOT) became the centre of a reds versus greys lesson when I answered a question about what I would like to do if I were to travel to take part in a Volunteering Project.

I thought I would most enjoy doing a volunteer project about which I am passionate and Red Squirrel Conservation came to mind. I didn’t anticipate the range of comments that ensued as tweeters confessed to not realising that there even were reds in the UK and that they found the greys cute.

I took the position that I would love the greys to flourish but to do so in their native America, thereby allowing conservationists to reestablish the reds across Britain and Ireland. Hopefully in the course of the chat a few people were educated about the plight of greys. Some participants showed that they knew a bit about red squirrels already, Iain Mallory (@MalloryOnTravel) suggested some good spots to view reds such as the Wirral and Scotland.

Dorothée Lefering, a well-established travel blogger (www.thetouristin.com) and tweeter (@DoroLef) who has lived in London and knew that there were greys all over the city thought that the greys were cute. But she had been completely unaware that the greys were an invasive species, introduced from America. Hopefully, once the chat had revealed that greys drive reds from their habitat and pass on the fatal Squirrel Pox to them, Dorothée was persuaded that America was the best place for the “cute” greys and that it would be great to reestablish the reds in the British Isles. She was certainly enthused enough to comment that she was impressed by the passion so many tweeters had for protecting red squirrels and demonstrated her own newfound interest in squirrels with some trivia from Germany where she is based.

Dorothée's squirrel trivia Tweet
Dorothée’s squirrel trivia Tweet

Squirrels from around the world (pt 2)

Whilst going through my photos from a 2015 trip to Vietnam I came across this (admittedly not very good) photo of a squirrel in the Botanical Gardens behind Ho Chi Minh’s house in Hanoi. It was quite a bit larger than any squirrels I have seen in the United Kingdom or Europe, with a long and bushy red tail. I believe that it might have been a Black Giant Squirrel although its tail was more red than I would have expected that to be. Perhaps therefore it was a Finlayson’s Squirrel but I could not see the white belly. If anybody has any helpful input in identifying it, I’d be grateful to hear their thoughts via the comments form below.

A squirrel in Hanoi, Vietnam
A squirrel in Hanoi, Vietnam

Squirrels from around the world (pt 1)

At Red Squirrel Education we love squirrels. All sorts of squirrels. We even want to see the grey squirrels thrive – but back in America where they belong and certainly not here in the British Isles where they are catastrophic for our lovely native red squirrels.

The Giant Squirrel in Sri Lanka
The Giant Squirrel in Sri Lanka

I came across this photo I took of an Indian Giant Squirrel. I saw it in a tree in Sri Lanka not India, just near the famous tourist spot of Sigiriya. Much bigger than a red or even a grey that we find in the United Kingdom, the Giant Squirrel has a particularly long tail and nice colourings.

Have you seen different squirrels in different parts of the world? Why not let us know and upload your photos here too?

How you can help

BBC’s website today features this article about how the Wildlife Trusts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are looking for helpers to form a Red Squirrel Army to monitor red squirrels and to observe where greys are moving into red squirrel territory.

It could be a great chance for you to play your part in helping the conservation effort of the native British Red Squirrel.

What have they done in Cornwall?

I just came across this article about beech trees being cut down in Cornwall due to damage by grey squirrels. Cutting native British trees down because of damage by invasive creatures is ludicrous. The authorities in Cornwall ought to have taken out a course of grey squirrel control action. Not only do the grey squirrels destroy our woodlands but they ruin the habitat for red squirrels. It’s maddening.