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Red squirrel numbers continue to rise

The number of red squirrels in Cumbria have risen for the third year in a row Credit: PA

The number of red squirrels in Cumbria have risen for the third year in a row.

Two months of surveying work, carried out over two months, found the allusive animal in 300 different woodlands and gardens.

The findings come from the fourth monitoring project in two years by the Red Squirrels Northern England.

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Rise in red squirrels in south of Scotland

Red squirrels have been facing an uncertain future for many years, but now it seems they might be enjoying a small reversal in fortunes.

A recent survey shows a slight increase in the number of reds and a fall in the number of greys across south Scotland.

As Katie Hunter reports there has also been a rise in red squirrel sightings:

Encouraging news for red squirrels in D&G

A red squirrel having a bite to eat Credit: ITV News Border

Conservationists say they are encouraged by increased red squirrel sightings in Dumfries and Galloway.

The animals have been under threat following outbreaks of squirrel pox and increased competition for food from their grey cousins.

A red squirrel opening a feeding box Credit: ITV News Border

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'Trapping grey squirrels is necessary'

Mike Thornley, red squirrel officer, with a grey squirrel traps Credit: ITV News Border

Mike Thornley is a Red Squirrel Officer, he said:

"Trapping grey squirrels and taking them out of habitats is the only way to give red squirrels a future.

"The species cannot co-exist and if we don't clear habitats for them then our native squirrels will die out."

A grey squirrel trap Credit: ITV News Border
Jackie Foott, the Project Co-ordinator Credit: ITV News Border

Squirrel feeding stations installed

One of the squirrel feeding stations Credit: ITV News Border

The project is hoping to map red and grey squirrel populations over the coming years by putting up feeding stations linked to automatic cameras.

The data will help assess how effectively the conservation scheme is working.

Feeding station up a tree Credit: ITV News Border

Good news for red squirrels in Grizedale

A red squirrel conservation project has been hailed as a success- one year on.

The Westmorland Red Squirrel Society's 'Grizedale Red Squirrels' have reported that the red squirrels are boasting healthy populations in and around Grizedale Forest, and they are beginning to spread further afield.

A joint effort between the Forestry Commission, Lake District National Park, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, National Trust, Red Squirrels Northern England, Red Squirrel Survival Trust and landowners, hase ensured that the population of red squirrels is not allowed to dwindle.

A grant of almost £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund has aso helped with the control of the greys to reduce their threat to the protection and growth of the red species.

"We have been immensely encouraged by the number of red squirrels sighted in the Grizedale area and also by the positive response from everybody involved.

"This is a wonderful example of 'community energy' creating a powerful network to benefit a local wildlife species which was desperately in need of help."

– Jackie Foott, the Project Co-ordinator