Ledmore & Migdale
Spinningdale Bonar BridgeWatch the squirrels return
After many years of absence, red squirrels have been reintroduced to Ledmore & Migdale woods. In October 2019 we partnered with conservation charity Trees for Life and together relocated 20 red squirrels from populations in Moray and Inverness to this beautiful spot in Sutherland.
Video length: 00:02:59
Set the traps at seven o'clock this morning at first light. Filled them up with nuts and then just went around and checked the traps every hour or so until we caught a squirrel. Just weigh them, measure them, check them for any signs of disease or injury, and then pop them in the nest boxes and bring them across to here.
The squirrels are coming back to Ledmore & Migdale after an absence of a quite number of years. The woodland in the condition now where they can come back. And Woodland Trust have been here for 25 years. It's a Trees for Life lead project but it's on Woodland Trust grounds. it's very much a partnership.
Trees for Life have done this already on an estate just down the glens, Alladale, that's worked really well. And the squirrels have spread out and bred really well. And so, this is now the next (Ledmore & Migdale). They're calling it the corridor. And the idea is that the squirrels then breed and they basically fill up the areas that haven't got squirrels in between.
Pop a little bit of moss in the exit hole and then we'll leave the area. And then that just means that the squirrels can come out in their own time in the morning when there's no humans around.
Three were released last night. Our jobs as volunteers helping the Woodland Trust is to basically feed the squirrels, fill up the NAP feeders, just check is there evidence that they've had their own natural food like (pine)cones etc, that will be chewed. And just help monitor what's going on. Community just has to get involved.
And squirrels are a great benefit to our woodland. Largely through boring acorns, and also the pine cones that they're burying. That's assuring the next generation of trees are going to come away through here. So that's a great service to us.
Red squirrels are back here in Ledmore & Migdale woods, and we're delighted.
Ledmore and Migdale includes one of Britain's most northerly oakwoods, a habitat described as perfect for red squirrels. We’re delighted the woodland is now in a good enough condition for them to return.
Woodland Trust volunteers have been instrumental in supporting the squirrels who seem to be very happy in their own home!
It forms part of a larger reintroduction program in the area. Red squirrels have been translocated from areas that have healthy populations to other Scottish woodlands to help boost the populations.
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