Clwyd West Assembly Member, Darren Millar, visited the Clocaenog Forest last week to learn more about a red squirrel conservation project in the 40 square mile Natural Resources Wales managed forest.
The Red Squirrels United project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is the first national UK network which aims to join up many successful regional initiatives to help conserve, protect and promote native red squirrels, while increasing community involvement in red squirrel conservation.
Red Squirrel populations have declined since the introduction of the grey squirrel in 1876, and it is now thought that there are less than 140,000 red squirrels left in the UK. The Clocaenog Forest is one of three areas in Wales which are home to wild red squirrels.
During the visit Darren met with Red Squirrel Ranger Rebecca Clews-Roberts, of the Red Squirrels Trust Wales, and local volunteers to learn more about their efforts to monitor the red squirrel population and promote its growth.
The project is looking to find more volunteers to help with their conservation efforts.
“As the Red Squirrel Species Champion in the National Assembly for Wales, I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit the Clocaenog Forest to learn more about these adorable creatures.
“The Red Squirrels United project is doing some excellent work to help maintain the iconic red squirrel populations in North Wales and I commend Rebecca and her small army of volunteers for their efforts.
“Funding for conservation is very difficult to achieve, and projects like this need continuity to ensure long term success. Without further investment the hard work put toward saving these animal populations is in danger of being wasted.”
If you are interested in finding out more, volunteering or helping to support the cause, then please visit the Red Squirrels Trust Wales website at; http://www.redsquirrels.info/