On a recent visit to Formby Point it was good to see that the red squirrels are recovering well. In recent years they were virtually wiped out here by the squirrel pox, a disease carried by the non indigenous grey squirrel.
The pox arrived in 2007 and the population of the reds were decimated, the decline being as great as 90%. My previous visit about four years ago produced no sightings at all and that was such an odd and depressing feeling, as in my youth I used to visit regularly and the reds were simply part of the furniture. They’re not out of the woods yet though and with only around 150,000 reds now left in the country as against over two million greys, the reds are very much up against it. Further outbreaks have occurred recently, which giving rise for concern but the efforts of the National Trust and the Wildlife Trust are keeping the population viable and careful monitoring is proving invaluable in recording the red’s status.
This short post shows some of the images taken over a two hour period in the early morning, when they are far more active than later in the day. You also have the reserve to yourself during this time making watching that more enjoyable.