Habitat boost for Forfar country park squirrels

The project will lend a helping hand to the country park’s Red Squirrel population.The project will lend a helping hand to the country park’s Red Squirrel population.
The project will lend a helping hand to the country park’s Red Squirrel population.
Volunteers are being sought to help give red squirrels a boost through a new project at Forfar Loch County Park.

ANGUSalive has received Action Earth funding from NatureScot which will support a team helping the Red Squirrel population at the country park.

The £250 grant will fund the environmental activity ‘Treesy for Reds’, which involves planting a mixed woodland on the south side of the loch.

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This will link up other sections of woodland to enhance the wildlife corridor for Reds by providing food, and when mature enough will help the squirrels to spend less time on the ground.

Red Squirrel numbers are being hard-pressed through a combination of loss of habitat and encroachment on their territory by the non-native Grey Squirrel, which also carries the Squirrel Pox virus.

While greys are immune, the virus is fatal to reds

Numbers are also affected as, when under pressure, reds do not breed as often.

Mhairi Kimmet, countryside ranger said: “Species and age diversity is a bonus at the park as it means as we have more mature trees coming down there are younger ones coming up behind them.

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"We will also add spring flowering bulbs to make the area more diverse for other wildlife utilising the area.”

Volunteers of all ages and abilities are invited to join the project which will make an environmental impact on the community’s green space at Forfar Loch.

There are several volunteer days planned where anyone can attend to leave a positive stamp on the park.

Midge Allan has volunteered at Forfar Loch for the last 12 years.

She said: “Volunteering has given me a real sense of pride.

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"Having raised funds to donate native trees to the park in recent years, I get great pleasure when a larch I’ve planted produces a flower or a cone.

“I am often told by the visitors how pristine the park looks.

"I hope our visitors get as much pleasure from all our efforts improving things for the wildlife and visitors to the park as I do,” she added.

Anyone you would like to donate a small amount of time to helping this important project can get in touch by emailing [email protected]. Alternatively you can call 01307 461118.

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