Red Squirrels United brings together partners from across the UK to deliver red squirrel conservation. As part of this effort, Forest Research is undertaking a public attitudinal survey to understand levels of awareness of squirrel conservation issues and attitudes towards management methods. The findings will be used to aid the development of locally appropriate campaigns and inform future management planning.
The survey will provide survey responses from up to 4500 respondents with a particular focus on five case study areas. The resulting data will allow researchers to:
- Understand how red and grey squirrels are valued
- Assess awareness of the endangered status and threats to red squirrels
- Assess awareness of squirrel conservation and control programmes
- Evaluate which management options are most preferred and acceptable
- Compare how attitudes and levels of awareness differ across the study areas
A repeat survey will be carried out to assess how these findings change in response to campaigns and outreach.
Start date: Jan 2015
End date: Nov 2019
Current activities: A report on awareness and attitudinal data (PDF-1364KB) has recently been produced
Funders and partners
This part of the research is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund
The Red Squirrels United programme is led by The Wildlife Trusts in partnership with Newcastle University, Forest Research, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Red Squirrels Wales, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Ulster Wildlife and The Wildlife Trusts of South & West Wales.
Partners aim to maintain grey squirrel-free habitat where it already exists, for example on the island of Anglesey and in Kielder Forest in northern England; extend current red squirrel protection zones in mid-Wales and Merseyside and implement a new whole country approach in Northern Ireland. All conservation work will be rigorously monitored contributing to robust scientific research and evaluation to be undertaken by academic partners.