We need your help with our latest monitoring project
Isle of Wight home owners with gardens, and land owners with woodland areas are being invited to participate in a significant project to map the habitat of the Isle of Wight’s iconic red squirrel.
Helen has already completed a survey of the Island’s larger areas of woodland. She is now looking to complete the survey by adding detail from smaller woodland and garden areas – which is where the Island’s inhabitants can get involved. They are now being asked to contact Helen to arrange for her to undertake a survey of their garden or woodland. As a rough guide, gardens measuring one acre or more will be surveyed – although smaller gardens in a row could also make a significant difference if they contain a number of larger trees.
Although this part of the project will take longer to complete it will provide vital information about existing habitat corridors or “squirrel highways” that enable red squirrels to travel from one larger habitat to another. It will also identify areas that would benefit from tree planting and further habitat creation.“The aim is to learn more about the way red squirrels use our landscape and get a rough estimate of ‘carrying capacity’, that is, the number of red squirrels that trees can provide a home and food for,” Helen explained.
“This study will show us where there are gaps in corridors or places that would benefit from tree planting in order to enhance wildlife habitat and the landscape in general.”Anyone with a suitable area of land they are willing to have surveyed is being invited to contact Wight Squirrel Project. The tree species and any squirrel activity on the land will be recorded as well as the site’s location in relation to habitats within the wider landscape.
“I have already had a great response from people wanting to have areas surveyed as part of the project,” Helen said.Helen carried out a similar project in 1991 which helped identify gaps left in the habitat after trees were destroyed in the 1987. Since then, tree planting to extend woodland cover plus planting corridor links saw a great improvement in red squirrel habitat and numbers rose.
To arrange a survey visit of a garden or woodland contact telephone 01983 611003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The current project is due to be completed by the end of 2019.
Success of new road signs
Eye-catching squirrel signs have been produced in a campaign to slow down traffic in squirrel road-death blackspot areas onthe Island, and help was needed from the public to get them on display.
Response was good and all the signs have been allocated to places where a number of deaths are reported annually.
Launch of new app
The new app was launched in June at the Bioblitz in Parkhurst Forest. Pictured here are Robert Kettlety of IsleCre8 and Kingsley Hollis, the first person to have the app.
It is still a work in progress ...
Download our Newsletter
Annual newsletters are sent out to ‘Friends of the red squirrel’ and distributed around the Island. Download the pdf here ...
Advice leaflets are also available from various venues and from the Red Squirrel shop in Ryde High Street.