Following a public consultation in 2009, Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) are developing a suite of 18 public and private forest areas, plus the Island of Arran, as red squirrel stronghold areas
These woodlands will be managed with red squirrel conservation as a high priority.
Managing the strongholds
Guidance has been developed with stakeholders on how to manage these strongholds. More than two thirds of the total proposed stronghold area is on the National Forest Estate, where FCS will be responsible for securing populations of red squirrels in the long-term. For stronghold areas that are on private land, FCS will advise and support landowners to develop and implement suitable forest plans.
Work is ongoing to agree the stronghold boundaries and the best management approach for each woodland within a stronghold. This will include balancing local priorities to make sure that the wider biodiversity aims for these woodlands are achieved alongside red squirrel conservation.
Financial support is available under the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) to manage woodlands for red squirrels and for grey squirrel control to protect strongholds sites if this becomes necessary.
For further guidance from the FCS please see: