Since the 1870s the number of the once common species has drastically declined due to loss of habitat and disease spread by the non-native grey squirrel.
Now only an estimated 140,000 remain and there is a real risk that this much-loved creature will one day disappear from the country for good.
However in parts of the UK conservation work has begun to have a real impact on improving the number of red squirrels. Anglesey now supports the largest red squirrel population in Wales, thanks to an HLF-supported project.
Now we are supporting a new partnership project, led by the wildlife trusts, which seeks to develop a UK-wide response to the crisis for the first time.
The four year Red Squirrels United programme will build a network of red squirrel champions - trained volunteers who will protect red populations and maintain and extend grey squirrel-free habitats - in Wales, North Merseyside, Cumbria, Northumberland and Northern Ireland. Workshops, events and skills-sharing will take place across the rest of the country to help raise public awareness and share what’s been learnt.
Our Trustee Tom Tew, the author of a book on red squirrels, welcomed the new project. He said: “It's great to see such strong co-operation between conservation organisations which now, thanks to National Lottery players, have a great opportunity to capitalise on all the local work and build a co-ordinated, national response to the threats faced by this endangered species.”