The Anglesey Red Squirrel Project - An Island Haven

An Anglesey red squirrel

Making a difference

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for heritage

  • Anglesey now supports the largest red squirrel population in Wales. They are being recorded across the island and have also dispersed to the adjacent mainland.
  • More people, including landowners and residents on the mainland, understand the issues around species conservation and are playing an effective role in future red squirrel conservation efforts.

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for people

  • A core group of 20-30 active volunteers have developed knowledge in red squirrel conservation management. A wider group of volunteers have been enabled to act as citizen scientists through reporting red squirrel sightings and behaviours.
  • Over 4,700 adults and 2,800 children have experienced and learnt about red squirrel conservation through a range of events and activities. These have included poetry and photography competitions, puppet-making and story-telling, constructing feeders and nest boxes, creating video and photographic diaries, installing webcams, and squirrel-watching at four dedicated locations and in local woods and back gardens.
  • All schools across Anglesey have learnt about red squirrels through 70 events and materials for schools. Students in higher education have gained skills and qualifications by taking part in the project.

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for communities

  • An 800-strong community of volunteers has been established across the county, primarily through use of social media.
  • People of all backgrounds, ages and abilities have enjoyed red squirrels as a result of the project’s focus on providing opportunities such as trails and viewing platforms close to towns and parking areas, and through encouraging red squirrels to disperse into diverse habitats near people’s homes.
  • New signage and strong media interest has grown the tourism potential of red squirrels on Anglesey.

Lessons learnt

  • Developing and supporting a network of local people to take ownership of conservation projects is vital to ensure long-term sustainability.
  • Having a strong communications plan is critical to managing any public concerns around culling activities.
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