Red squirrels are on the increase at Crathes Estate, says the National Trust.
According to latest figures, red squirrels were found in 54 per cent of all the areas surveyed in 2011. This is a big increase from 2005, when only 26 per cent of areas surveyed had red squirrels.
There has also been a dramatic decrease in grey squirrel sightings too – now only nine per cent of the areas surveyed had grey squirrels, compared to 39 per cent in 2005.
Senior Ranger Fiona Milne said: “The North-east is a stronghold for this threatened species, so we are really pleased with the positive results at Crathes. We have been working hard to encourage reds to thrive here. The results of our latest monitoring show that we are making good progress which is excellent news.”
The news comes six months after the conservation charity launched their red squirrel conservation plan which committed the organisation to a series of actions designed to help protect the red squirrel including carrying out a squirrel census, advocating more sensitive woodland management, focussed grey squirrel control and even the use of warning signs for motorists in some areas, including Crathes, to the possibilities of red squirrels on the road, and the use of road bridges in some locations too.
The full strategy is available to download at www.nts.org.uk.