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.
- Grey Squirrels and England's Woodlands: Policy and Action
- Consultation report – Review of evidence underpinning England’s grey squirrel policy in woodlands
- Squirrels in the UK - An Accord - August 2014