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Squirrels and England's Woodlands

GREY SQUIRREL.At the request of the Secretary of State, the Forestry Commission has been reviewing grey squirrel policy in England. The review included gathering views on the evidence underpinning the policy, a workshop held at the beginning of the year, and subsequent discussions with stakeholders. Many organisations were consulted and contributed evidence.

A report on the evidence consultation response can be found here.

The updated policy and action plan reaffirms government’s commitment to work with land owners and other organisations as part of a reinforced package of measures to support  targeted grey squirrel control to protect both red squirrels and woodlands. The action plan includes:

  • Additional measure in forestry options of Countryside Stewardship for land managers to control grey squirrels (not just in red squirrel areas but in woodlands where squirrels are a threat to management plan objectives).
  • Plans for a national squirrel partnership to help local groups outside of grant schemes.
  • Support for research and evidence (for example squirrel pox vaccine and fertility control work).
  • Taking action on its land holding (public forest estate).

We will discuss the details of implementing these actions with stakeholders at a workshop early in 2015.

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