In an exciting new development, Welsh Government funding has been awarded to us helping support community action across the red squirrel focal area.
The funding from Environment Wales, a partnership in the voluntary sector that supports voluntary action to protect and improve the environment, has enabled WTSWW to roll out a Trap Loan Scheme on behalf of the Mid Wales Red Squirrel Partnership (MWRSP).
The Trap Loan Scheme is part of a wider effort to reduce the population of grey squirrels in mid Wales, as they are detrimental to the survival of the native red squirrel. The scheme offers free loan of trapping equipment for grey squirrel control to residents and landowners within the mid Wales red squirrel focal area.
Training in trapping technique is also available through the Scheme. The Scheme is run by volunteers; a network of Local Co-ordinators has been set up to oversee the distribution of trapping equipment in the focal area. Here are a few words from Matthew Hand, the Local Co-ordinator for the Rhandirmwyn area.
Perhaps we as a community could leave the visible legacy of a healthy, viable red squirrel population and prove that conservation really does start at home.
My personal aim is to see a red squirrel in my little wood in the centre of Rhandirmwyn, and when that happens I shall buy everyone in my village that has helped me with the scheme a drink in the pub – but we need to get a move on as I am becoming older and poorer every year! (Now there's a promise! The Editor)
On the August bank holiday my wife Jane and I manned a small stand in the Community Association tent at the Rhandirmwyn show, luckily blessed with fair weather, there was a good attendance on the day and we had a number of enquiries about the scheme, some volunteering to help and others wanting more background information on the project.
Looking at a map of the area and the work involved it looks a mammoth task of almost insurmountable size, but it isn’t, as with all apparent insurmountable problems in life you just get stuck in at the start and work forward, and then suddenly it becomes attainable.
Which is why every single person that helps is important, however small or insignificant it may seem to you, it is another step forward for the project and a helping hand for our native red squirrel.
Please try and spread the word of what we are going to achieve and reassure those that are sceptical; this is an opportunity for our communities to work together and achieve this legacy for the future.
Given the options of pointing out a red squirrel in my woodland canopy to a grandchild or showing them a stuffed one on a shelf and saying “We had those here once, but did nothing about saving them”. There is only one acceptable option.
To find out more about this project or get involved please contact Becky on 07972 201202