Squirrels: Conservation

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 1st March 2017.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to protect the red squirrel population in the UK.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government is committed to protecting and expanding red squirrel populations and tackling the threats that grey squirrels pose to them.

The Forestry Commission works with Natural England and other bodies as part of the Red Squirrel Northern England Project, a conservation project to help protect red squirrels and expand the biggest population of red squirrels left in England.

In addition, the Forestry Commission has been undertaking a number of actions to protect red squirrels from the impact of grey squirrels resulting from an updated grey squirrel action plan for England. Defra has also provided £39,000 for the initial stage of work by the Animal and Plant Health Agency to develop a fertility control method for grey squirrels.

We are also working together with a range of stakeholders under the UK Squirrel Accord, which aims to promote partnership working to increase public awareness and support for action to protect red squirrels and woodlands from grey squirrels.

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