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New group launched to protect red squirrel colony
A NEW group has been launched to protect one of the region's last red squirrel strongholds.
Founding members of the Wensleydale Red Squirrel Group hope to conserve an existing red squirrel population living in woodland near Hawes, in the Yorkshire Dales.
It was formed by local wildlife photographer Simon Phillpotts and Anthony Bagshawe, who has encouraged red squirrels to visit his garden near Hwaes for the past five years.
The group is supported by conservation charity Red Squirrels Northern England and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.
Mr Philpotts said: “This is a community-led venture with the aim being to conserve the existing red squirrel population and expand its range within the Yorkshire Dales.
“The initial project area will be upper Wensleydale but it is hoped that through monitoring and conservation work that the Squirrels will also populate adjoining Dales over time.”
“The involvement of the Dales community is vital to the success of the project.”
The group will hold its first public meeting at the Dales Countryside Museum, in Hawes, on Wednesday, March 13 at 7.30pm.
Mr Philpotts added: “All with an interest in red squirrel conservation are welcome and there will be opportunities for residents to get involved as much or as little as they want, from just lending support and looking out for/reporting squirrel sightings to, tree planting, feeding and joining the groups committee.”
For more details visit wensleydalersg.co.uk