Squirrels: Conservation

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 8th January 2018.

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Photo of Lord Macpherson of Earl's Court Lord Macpherson of Earl's Court Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what contribution they made to the 2014 UK Squirrel Accord; and whether the red squirrel population is expanding relative to that of grey squirrels across the UK.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble 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.

Defra and the devolved administrations are signatories to the UK Squirrel Accord, which aims to promote a coordinated approach to controlling grey squirrels and securing the future of our red squirrels. The UK Squirrel Accord supports the Government’s long term strategy for controlling grey squirrel populations. Defra has provided funding to the Animal and Plant Health Agency to explore the potential for developing a fertility control method for grey squirrels.

In addition 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. Recent evidence shows the range for red squirrel presence in northern England is stable.

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