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Britain’s first ever interactive red squirrel website was launched today (Wednesday, March 10) in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park at Aviemore Primary School.
The pupils were the first official visitors to the unique site that allows red squirrel fans to explore, read, chat and comment about all things squirrelly.
Juliet Robinson of ‘red squirrels of the Highlands’ said:
“School children across the Highlands have made a big contribution to the project, which aims to record and monitor red squirrels in a bid to maximise our efforts to strengthen and nurture the red squirrel population.
“This new website is a great way for all the schools – and everyone else – to see how we are progressing and to pitch in and lend a hand to the conservation effort. The more information we gather about where the red squirrels are living, the better chance we have of protecting them.”
As well as hosting historic and current records of red squirrel populations, the site allows visitors to record their own sightings via an easy to use ordnance survey map system.
Website designers Screenmedia from Glasgow added:
“The website is informative and engaging and we hope that users are encouraged to upload their squirrel sightings. We’re so enthused with the project we’ve now even bought our own Red squirrel costume!”
Visitors can also take part in forum discussions and comment on a weekly blog from the red squirrel conservation officer.
Aviemore Primary School teacher, Janet Kinnaird, said
“The red squirrel is our school emblem so naturally we think he launch of this new website is wonderful. Scottish wildlife is studied within the school at all stages so this is going to be a great learning tool for all the children.”
To take part in the effort and to find out more, visit www.redsquirrelsofthehighlands.co.uk
Notes to editors:
1 The attached image shows Juliet Robinson with some of Aviemore Primary School's squirrel hunters. For more information call Juliet on 07920213704.
2 RED SQUIRRELS OF THE HIGHLANDS (FEORAGAN RUADH NA GAIDHEALTACHD). This project covers the whole of the Highlands and, with funding from both Highland and Cairngorms LEADER programmes, we can direct funding to specific areas. It aims to establish, train and support a co-ordinated network of community based volunteers (individuals or groups), that will observe and record red squirrel sightings across the Highlands. Some of the project’s other activities include: Lead volunteers (to sustain the volunteer network beyond the length of funding), Extreme squirreling (to acquire knowledge of squirrel distribution in out of the way places), Squirrel watch (to create a series of squirrel trails and interpretative material at sites with high squirrel populations.
3 The project is additionally supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Cairngorms National Park Authority.