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Perching here and gathering my thoughts ...

Of red and grey squirrels

15 April 2010 ~ 20:22

This is an email I recently sent to a group called 'Friends of the Anglesey Red Squirrels.' Anglesey is a large island off Wales where there are still populations of native British red squirrels (most of the UK has grey squirrels which were introduced from North America over 100 years ago and have been remarkably adept at populating themselves).

See what you think.

"I'm sorry to say that love red squirrels though I do, I find the notion that your aim is to 'eradicate grey squirrels from Britain' very upsetting and off putting. I totally agree with preserving the red squirrels we still have, but although many people would agree that they don't want these remaining reds supplanting by greys, in Southern England they find greys are very attractive as a park and garden squirrel. Reds are not and never will be a common sight in gardens in suburban and urban areas. The fact is that in countries like France where only reds exist, you just don't see any squirrels unless you go into a forest and look hard. I enjoy feeding grey squirrels in the London parks where I live and many people enjoy watching their antics. Your cited aim to eradicate them puts me off joining red support groups, and I'm sure it does a lot of people. You should therefore think carefully about what you really want. The tide can and hopefully WILL be halted, but cannot be turned back. Greys DO have their place, for many of us. Live and let live that's what I say."

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