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red squirrel


Left- the red squirrel
(Sciurus vulgaris leucourus)
now extinct in my woodland
driven out by the alien invasive

Why cull grey squirrels?

The grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) inflicts great damage on our woodland.  As an introduced species to Britain the grey is not part of our forest ecosystem and it has thus become invasive. 
* The last Red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris leucourus) was observed in my woodland in 1965 and never seen in this area again.  The grey is a species native to North America where it is part of the forest ecosystem and as such lives in harmony with its surroundings. 
* In Britain the grey causes great damage, akin to a tree rat it out-competes the reds: ring-barks trees on a huge scale, destroys nests and kills fledging song birds.  Amazingly it also it also does a little good, planting hazel nuts and acorns that grow into trees!  If we are to maintain healthy woodlands it is unfortunately incumbent on us to intervene with the grey.
* I’ve tried various culling methods- shooting, poisoning, trapping, all of which for various reasons I have abandoned as unsatisfactory.  Entirely by chance I have found a natural method that eliminates ring barking (though not nest raiding) with almost total success (excluding beech), is self-regulating and working in my valley.  I grow sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) as a shrub (best no more than 10 or 15 feet high) throughout the woodland, which is the greys preferred food source.  Ring barking used to be a serious problem. This has now entirely ceased.
*Has anyone experience of such natural self-regulating means of control and can anyone suggest how I might protect the song birds?  Comments and suggestions please   

grey squirrel






Left - greys