Welcome to the Cornwall Red Squirrel Project!
The aim of the project is to re-introduce Britain's native red squirrel into Cornwall. The project was founded in 2009 and started work on the ground in 2011.
Red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) were common in England until the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) was first introduced to the UK from America as an ornamental species in 1876 and to Exeter in 1915. The spread of the grey squirrel was rapid, and in 36 years the species had reached Cornwall. The last of our native red squirrels was seen in Cornwall in 1984.
The Cornwall Red Squirrel Project now aims to undertake a mainland UK reintroduction of red squirrels.
Cornwall is ideally suited to this project because of its relative isolation from the mainland, and the presence of wooded valleys and mixed woodland which offer suitable red squirrel habitat. The project will start with reintroductions on The Lizard and in West Penwith. These sites have been identified in a habitat survey as being suitable for re-introduction. As the two areas are surrounded by sea on three sides they are also more easily defended against re-population by grey squirrels.
We currently have three grey squirrel rangers who are focusing on the Lizard area, plus volunteer and land owner work which is ongoing in West Penwith.
You can watch a short video explaining the aims of the Cornwall Red Squirrel Project here:
Cornwall Red Squirrel Project - Registered Charity Number 1147887