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    Red Squirrel News

The first signs of Spring are with us, bulbs are poking up above the ground and birds are getting ready to nest.  Squirrels will soon be feasting on buds, flowers and shoots; but spring is a lean time of year for squirrels, with most of the nuts and berries long gone.  This makes March to August an ideal time of the year for grey squirrel control, as squirrels are more likely to go for

bait in the traps.  You can find out more about the Trap Loan Scheme if you come along to the Drop-in Session in Llanfair Clydogau, see below for more details.  Also in this edition of Red Squirrel News, Jenny Macpherson from The Vincent Wildlife Trust tells us about what may be the start of a sustainable solution for red squirrel conservation, the return of the pine marten to mid Wales. Two of our Local Co-ordinators talk about why they got involved in red squirrel conservation, grey squirrel cuisine is on the menu, plus info on coming events.
 
Newyddion y Wiwer Goch

Maw naws y gwanwyn i'w deimlo erbyn hyn: gwelsom y blodau cyntaf ac mae'r adar yn paratoi i nythu.  Cyn bo hir bydd y gwiwerod yn gwledda ar flagur a blodau, ond mae’r gwanwyn yn gyfnod anodd iddyn nhw am fod y rhan fwyaf o’r cnau a’r aeron wedi hen ddiflannu.  Felly, dyma’r cyfnod gorau i gael gwared ar y gwiwerod llwyd oherwydd maen nhw’n fwy tebygol o gymryd  yr abwyd mewn trapiau.  Gallwch ddysgu mwy am y Cynllun Benthyca Trapiau os dewch i’r Sesiwn Galw Heibio yn Llanfair Clydogau (mae’r manylion isod).  Hefyd, yn y rhifyn hwn o Newyddion y Wiwer Goch, mae Jenny Macpherson o'r Ymddiriedolaeth Natur Vincent yn rhoi gwybod i ni am ddechrau’ cynllun a allai ddatrys y broblem o ddiogelu gwiwerod coch mewn ffordd gynaliadwy, sef dychweliad y bele i Ganolbarth Cymru. Mae dau o’n Cydgysylltwyr Lleol yn datgelu sut wnaethon nhw ymgymryd â chadwraeth gwiwerod coch a pham mae’r wiwer lwyd ar y fwydlen – ac mae yna fanylion am ddigwyddiadau sydd i ddod.

Drop In and Find out More about the Trap Loan Scheme! 


The Trap Loan Scheme is up and running in 7 local areas of the mid Wales red squirrel focal site.  The Scheme offers free loan of trapping equipment for grey squirrel control to residents and landowners within and adjacent to the mid Wales red squirrel focal area. 
 

Volunteer Local Co-ordinators have been trained in grey squirrel control techniques and humane dispatch methods and are ready to pass their knowledge onto you, together with trapping equipment and supplies of bait.
If you live anywhere between Tregaron and Cellan and want to find out more about the Trap Loan Scheme pop in to
Llanfair Clydogau Village Hall between 11am and 3pm on Saturday 7th March for a chat over a cup of tea and piece of cake!
 
Galwch Heibio i Ddysgu Mwy am y Cynllun Benthyca Trapiau! 

Mae’r Cynllun Benthyca Trapiau ar waith mewn saith ardal leol ym mhrif barth gwarchod gwiwerod coch Canolbarth Cymru.  Mae’r Cynllun yn cynnig trapiau dal gwiwerod llwyd am ddim i drigolion a thirfeddianwyr yn yr ardaloedd hyn. 

Derbyniodd Cydgysylltwyr Lleol gwirfoddol hyfforddiant ar sut i reoli gwiwerod llwyd a’u difa heb greulondeb, ac maen nhw’n barod i drosglwyddo’u gwybodaeth i chi, ynghyd â thrapiau ac abwydydd.

Os ydych chi’n byw unrhyw le rhwng Tregaron a Chellan ac am wybod mwy am y Cynllun Benthyca Trapiau, galwch heibio i Neuadd y Pentref, Llanfair Clydogau rhwng 11am a 3pm ddydd Sadwrn 7 Mawrth am sgwrs dros baned o de a darn o deisen!
 

Trap Loan Scheme
Local Co-ordinators

If you want to take part in the Trap Loan Scheme, please contact your nearest Local Co-ordinator

Rhandirmwyn, Matthew Hand 
01550 760122 / m.hand100@btinternet.com
 

Llanfair Clydogau, Ben Allen
07814 280195 / ben_allen303@yahoo.co.uk

Cellan & Cwmann, Adrian Hyde
01570 421669 / nightjar@live.co.uk


Llanddewi Brefi, Llanio & Tregaron,
Shelagh Yeomans
01974 299370 / 077962 85003
shelaghyeo@hotmail.com


Pontrhyfendigaid, Chris Harris
01974 831540 / cp.harris@gmx.co.uk


Ffarmers & Pumsaint, John Smith
01558 650816 /
jjvp.smith@gmail.com

Llanwrtyd Wells, Janet Bigood
01591 610571 / mpbidgood@gmail.com

 
We are looking for voluntary Co-ordinators for the Trap Loan Scheme particularly in the Pumsaint/Crugybar, Cilycwm, Cynghordy, Beulah and Tregaron areas.  If you are interested in becoming a Co-ordinator for your local area, contact Becky on b.hulme@welshwildlife.org / 07972 201202

Albi-traps Update

Many of you might well have noticed that some of the components on the traps that you have on loan as part of the Trap Loan Scheme are beginning to rust very quickly.   The Albi-traps were purchased in bulk from Albion Manufacturing  in September and were already showing signs of oxidisation within a

few months.  When contacted, Albion Manufacturing were very quick to remedy the situation, "Our traps are noted for their durability … we are very alarmed and concerned at your report relating to the rusty components (which) did not come up to our usual high standard. This problem has been caused by the  supplier of raw materials changing the coating process without notification.  The faulty batch of material has been traced and all components made from it have been withdrawn and scrapped.“  Martin Nix, Albion Manufacturing.
Albion Manufacturing have now provided the project with 300 replacement traps, complete with stainless steel components.  If anyone would like to exchange the traps that they have on loan for shiny new ones, please contact your Local Co-ordinator.  Albi-traps are British-made and widely used by professional trappers, as they have a good reputation for excellent manufacturing standards.  Our thanks go to Albion Manufacturing for providing such a good service. 

Training in Grey Squirrel Control

In December, forester and squirrel ecologist  Huw Denman led three courses across the red squirrel focal area  in grey squirrel control.  26 people were trained up in trapping technique and humane dispatch methods.  The courses were very well received, giving people the skills and confidence to join
the effort to reduce the population of grey squirrels in the focal area so that our red squirrels can thrive.  “Many thanks for todays session ..., Matthew and Huw were great and the hospitality wonderful.  I've learnt so much and am really looking forward to helping the programme along. As soon as I've got my traps I'll see if I can get  a couple of neighbours interested and signed up for a future course.”   Trainee
If you require formal training in grey squirrel control and live on the west side of the focal area, book yourself a place on the course running in Llanfair Clydogau in March, details below.
Ben Allen 
Cydgysylltydd lleol y Cynllun Benthyca Trapiau yn Llanfair Clydogau
Y tro cyntaf imi ddod i Geredigion oedd dros 15 mlynedd yn ôl er mwyn astudio am radd mewn Athroniaeth ym Mhrifysgol Cymru, Llanbedr Pont Steffan. Ar ôl symud i ffwrdd a dychwelyd i’r ardal nifer o weithiau ar ôl graddio, dychwelais tua phedair blynedd yn ôl pan brynodd fy rhieni eiddo yn Llanfair Clydogau.  Erbyn hyn rwy’n cyd-redeg busnes 'glampio’ gyda nhw, gan roi’r pwysais ar gynaliadwyedd amgylcheddol.   
Rwy’n cael fy hun yn ymwneud fwyfwy â phrosiectau amgylcheddol ymarferol. Byddaf yn gweithio fel coedwigwr traddodiadol, gan gynnwys bod yn hyfforddwr rheoli coetiroedd, ac yn ddiweddar deuthum yn un o gyfarwyddwyr Coedwig Gymunedol Longwood.   
Cefais fy nenu at y prosiect gwiwerod coch am fod cyfle i gymryd rhan mewn ffordd ymarferol.  Mae modd i ni siarad am gadwraeth ac am ein bywyd gwyllt brodorol, gallwn fonitro poblogaethau gwahanol rywogaethau, ynghyd ag ystyried a oes perygl i rywbeth diflannu am byth a sut mae modd ei arbed.  Mae hyn i gyd yn hollbwysig, ond os ydym yn mynd i arbed ein bywyd gwyllt rhag difodiant,  rhaid i ni gymryd camau ymarferol.  Mae bod yn gydgysylltydd i’r Cynllun Benthyca Trapiau yn un ffordd y gallaf ddylanwadu’n gadarnhaol ar rywogaeth frodorol sydd â gwir angen gwarchodaeth leol.  Hyd nes i ni gael hyd i ateb mwy cynaliadwy, mentrau trapio cymunedol yw’r unig ffordd ymarferol o geisio arbed y wiwer goch yng Nghanolbarth Cymru.

 
Ben Allen

Ben Allen 
Local Co-ordinator for the Trap Loan Scheme in Llanfair Clydogau

I first came to Ceredigion over 15 years ago to study for a Philosophy degree at what was then the University of Wales, Lampeter. Having moved away and back to the area several times since graduating, some four years ago I returned when my parents bought a property in Llanfair Clydogau and have gone into business with them to create

a 'glamping' site, with an emphasis on environmental sustainability.   
I have found myself increasingly drawn to practical, hands-on conservation projects. I work as a traditional woodsman, including, on a freelance basis to delivering woodland management training and have recently becoming a Director for Long Wood Community Woodland.   
I was drawn to the red squirrel project because of the opportunity to get involved at a practical level; we can talk about conservation of our native wildlife, we can monitor species population levels and hypothesise on the likelihood of future extinctions and levels of protection required ... all necessary stuff ... but without real on-the-ground action, we are in danger of monitoring our native wildlife as it drifts into extinction.  Acting as a Co-ordinator for the Trap Loan Scheme is one way that I can have a positive impact on a native species which is desperately in need of local protection.  Until we find a more sustainable solution, community trapping initiatives are the only viable way in which we can act to save the
red squirrel in mid Wales.

 Ben will be leading the grey squirrel control training in Long Wood on the 14th March and will be answering your queries at the drop-in session in Llanfair on the 7th March.
 

Y Bele: achubwr y Wiwer Goch?

Mae Ymddiriedolaeth Natur Vincent yn gobeithio rhoi hwb i boblogaeth fregus y bele yng Nghanolbarth Cymru trwy ddod â nifer fach - ond bwysig – o’r creaduriaid o’r Alban.
Mae’n  anodd  dod  o hyd i’r mamaliaid  carismatig  hyn,

hyd yn oed pan fyddan nhw’n niferus; yng Nghymru, mae’r bele brodorol wedi diflannu bron yn llwyr.  Ar un adeg, roedd beleod yn gyffredin ledled Prydain, hyd nes i goedwigoedd gael eu clirio.  Gwaethygodd y sefyllfa yn y 19eg ganrif pan gawsant eu saethu gan giperiaid. Erbyn 1900, roedd y bele wedi diflannu o'r rhan fwyaf o Brydain, ac wedi'i gyfyngu i’r ardaloedd mwyaf anghysbell, gan gynnwys Eryri a Mynyddoedd Cambria. Heddiw, mae’n amlwg fod y niferoedd yn rhy isel i’r boblogaeth oroesi heb ymyrraeth – a dyna’r rheswm dros gyflwyno beleod o’r tu allan i Gymru.
Un o greaduriaid y goedwig yw’r bele yn bennaf, a bydd yn osgoi gwlad agored. Ei hoff fwyd yw mamaliaid bychain a ffrwythau, ond mae’n fodlon cymryd pa beth bynnag sydd ar gael yn lleol.  Bydd beleod yn bwyta gwiwerod llwyd – sy’n newyddion da i wiwerod coch. Mae gwiwerod coch yn chwimwth ac yn rhy gyflym fel arfer i’r bele – ond mae’r wiwer lwyd yn arafach ac yn haws ei dal. Mae yna dystiolaeth fod niferoedd y wiwer lwyd ar drai mewn ardaloedd lle mae’r bele ar gynnydd – ac mae poblogaeth y wiwer goch ar gynnydd yn y mannau hynny. 
Mae hwn yn gyfnod hollbwysig i’r bele yng Nghymru oherwydd mae’r rhywogaeth ar ymyl y dibyn. Mae’r prosiect hwn yn gyfle i geisio gwneud yn siŵr y bydd y bele unwaith eto yn symbol o’n coedwigoedd yng Nghymru.
I gael rhagor o wybodaeth,  ymwelwch a gwefan Ymddiriedolaeth Natur Vincent, neu ebostiwch enquiries@vwt.org.uk 
 
Nodyn gan y golygydd:  Bydd yn cymryd peth amser i adfer poblogaeth y bele yng Nghanolbarth Cymru, ac mae perygl y gallem golli ein gwiwerod coch pe baem yn gwneud dim. Yn y cyfamser, rhaid i ni gynnal rhaglen barhaus i reoli’r wiwer lwyd er mwyn cryfhau poblogaeth y wiwer goch.  Os gwnawn hyn, dylai’r wiwer goch fod yn ddigon cryf ymhen ychydig flynyddoedd i wrthsefyll peth ysglyfaethu gan y bele. 

 
The Pine Marten, the Red Squirrel's Saving Grace?
The Vincent Wildlife Trust is hoping to boost mid-Wales’ struggling pine marten population by bringing a small but significant number of martens from Scotland.
Charismatic, elusive and running out of time; this native Welsh mammal, bele’r coed, has all but  disappeared   from   the   Welsh  landscape.    Once
widespread throughout Britain, the pine marten’s historical decline began with forest clearance, but was exacerbated by the rise in game shooting and associated predator control in the 19th century. By 1900, the marten was effectively extinct over much of Britain, confined to the more remote upland areas that included Snowdonia and the Cambrian Mountains. Today, the marten is hanging on in the more isolated areas of rural Wales, but it is clear that the numbers are just too low for the population to survive without intervention, so intervention is planned.
 
The pine marten is chiefly a woodland animal and will avoid open countryside. Its preferred diet is small mammals and fruit, but it is an opportunist and will take whatever is locally abundant.  Pine martens will eat grey squirrels – which could be fantastic news for red squirrels. Red squirrels are agile and too quick for most pine martens who find the larger and much slower grey squirrel a far easier target. There is evidence of declining grey squirrel numbers in areas where the pine marten is recovering and a corresponding increase in numbers of red squirrels. 
Now is a critical time for the pine marten in Wales as the species stands on a knife-edge. This project represents a chance to help ensure that this iconic species will once again be a symbol of our Welsh woodlands.
For further information: visit the
VWT’s website, or email enquiries@vwt.org.uk 

Editor’s note:  It will take time to re-establish a pine marten population in mid Wales and we risk losing our red squirrels if we stand by and wait for this natural order to be restored. In the meantime, we need to maintain a sustained programme of grey squirrel control to strengthen the red squirrel population in mid Wales so that, a few years down the line, the reds will have become resilient enough to withstand some predation from pine martens whilst benefitting from a reduction in the grey population. 
Spot that Red!
Below is a delightful photo of a red squirrel taken by Julian Richards in the Autumn of 2013.  The photo is particularly encouraging as it shows a red squirrel feeding in a small hazel copse, in preparation for the winter months.  This individual was photographed  just next to a large forestry block in Cwrt-y-Cadno, where MWRSP member Huw Denman has been controlling grey squirrels and monitoring the red squirrel population for over 12 years. 
 
 Please report any sightings of red squirrels to the
Red Squirrel Officer on
b.hulme@welshwildlife.org

Dacw’r Goch!
 

Uchod, mae llun hyfryd o wiwer goch wedi’i dynnu gan Julian Richards yn hydref 2013.  Gallwn weld fod y wiwer yn bwydo ar gnau cyll, ac mae’n amlwg ei bod yn paratoi ar gyfer misoedd y gaeaf.  Nid nepell o’r fan mae darn mawr o goedwigaeth yng Nghwrtycadno lle mae un o aelodau’r Prosiect, Huw Denman, yn rheoli gwiwerod llwyd ers dros 12 mlynedd. 
 

Os gwelwch chi wiwer goch, byddwch cystal â rhoi gwybod i’r  Swyddog Gwiweron Coch ar b.hulme@welshwildlife.org
 


SPREADING THE WORD ABOUT RED SQUIRREL CONSERVATION IN MID WALES!
Since the last newsletter, over 100 people have attended a series of public and private talks across mid and west Wales.  There has been a lot of interest in the red squirrel project and in the Trap Loan Scheme, and the feedback so far has been very encouraging.  However, there are still plenty of people who aren't aware that the red squirrel still exists in mid Wales, so please keep spreading the word, the more people that know that this native mammal is on our doorstep and is in need of conservation measures, the more support we will get.  Thanks to all that have come along to these events, and especially to Matthew and Jane Hand, who gave their time to help out over 2 days in February at an information stand in the Cooperative Store in Llandovery.
Pictured below are Matthew Hand (Coordinator for the TLS in Rhandirmwyn),  Lizzie Wilberforce (Conservation Manager, WTSWW) and a customer learning about red squirrel conservation at the Co-operative Store in Llandovery.  Co-op customers generously donated over £37 to the project.  As well as kindly giving the space for us to promote the red squirrel project in Llandovery , the Co-operative has also funded the project  to a tune of £8,500.  The funding is part of the Welsh Wildlife Heroes campaign and is funded by the 5p plastic bag charge.

Red Squirrels in Llanio?
Shelagh Yeomans shares her thoughts ...

Our red squirrels are one of only three remaining  significant populations of red squirrels in the whole of Wales.   I volunteered with the Mammals in a Sustainable Environment’ project and helped by setting traps last summer; at least 2 red squirrels were found in local woods. I didn’t manage to see one but I am determined that my great-grandchildren will have the opportunity to
see these  delightful native squirrels living happily in their natural habitat here in mid Wales. There are substantial numbers of reds on Anglesey and in Cumbria due, to no small degree, to the implementation of a successful, volunteer-led, grey squirrel control scheme.
The problem is that, in Britain, greys out-number reds, by a ratio of 250/ 1.  They out-feed and out-breed them as well as carrying the squirrel pox which is lethal to reds. In fact, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) includes  grey squirrels in the list of 100 most invasive species in the world!  They have very few natural predators.  We can prevent the demise of the red by reducing the impact and numbers of the greys.  It is an offence under section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) to introduce and release grey squirrels into the wild.  They are a long-recognised pest.
I don’t detest the grey squirrel (although I do object when they steal eggs and poultry food from our smallholding) but I am concerned that they will destroy our hard work by eating the bark of the newly planted trees in our mixed native woodland. Becoming a volunteer with the Mid Wales Red Squirrel Project has enabled me to learn how to manage them on our land. If you’d like to find out more please come along to the Trap Loan Scheme Drop-in session in Llanfair Clydogau on Saturday 7th March from 11am to 3pm.

 
Shelagh is the Co-ordinator for the Trap Loan Scheme in the Llanddewi / Tregaron area.  She manages a 6 acre smallholding, which is part of the National Gardens Scheme and has an amazing diversity of crops, decorative plants and woodland .  You can pay a small fee which goes to charity to get given a tour of Shelagh's smallholding in Llanio - what a treat!
 
Iolo Williams yn Llanymddyfri / Llandovery
Bydd Darlith Goffa Dafydd Dafis, dan nawdd Cymdeithas Mynyddoedd Cambria, yn cael ei chynnal yn y Neuadd Fawr yng Ngholeg Llanymddyfri nos Iau 16 Ebrill am 7:30pm..  Teitl y ddarlith, a draddodir gan y naturiaethwr a’r darlledwr poblogaidd, Iolo Williams, yw: "Cymru: O Ben y Mynydd i’r Môr.” 
Bydd Prosiect Gwiwerod Coch Canolbarth Cymru yno gydag arddangosfa wybodaeth. Y tâl mynediad yw £5, drwy docyn yn unig.  Gallwch brynu tocyn oddi wrth Alun Jones ar 01656 773266 neu alun@rhandirmwyn.net  Mae nifer y tocynnau’n gyfyngedig; felly, y cyntaf i’r felin gaiff falu. Gobeithio y gwelwn chi yno.  
 
The annual Dafydd Dafis Memorial Lecture, hosted by the Cambrian Mountains Society will take place at the Great Hall in Llandovery College on Thursday April 16th at 7:30pm.  Naturalist and popular TV presenter, Iolo Williams, will be delivering a talk on: "Wales, From Mountain Top to the Sea." 
The Mid Wales Red Squirrel Project will be there on the day with an information display. 
Admission costs £5 and tickets must be purchased in advance by contacting Alun Jones on 01656 773266 or
alun@rhandirmwyn.net  This is a popular event, so book early to avoid disappointment.  See you there!
 
Making Use of Available Resources
In the Autumn Edition of this newsletter, we reported that top chef Pascal Aussignac, championed grey squirrel at the event 'Taste of London', as the forgotten British ingredient he’d most like to see back in kitchens. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has joined  Pascal Aussignac in promoting squirrel meat, putting it on
the menu of his River Cottage canteens and joining a growing movement to bring back unusual game. Joining the squirrel meat advocates is Jamie Oliver, who has featured slow-cooked squirrel pie on his Channel 4 programme, Jamie and Jimmy's Friday Night.  Jamie advocates squirrel as a sustainable food, eating culled grey squirrels to make use of an otherwise underused resource; the squirrel fare went down very well with his customers, you can view a clip of the programme here.  But what if you want to try grey squirrel meat in mid Wales, where to go?  Well the New Inn in Llanddewi Brefi is planning to put on a squirrel dinner in the Spring, they haven't set a date yet, so keep an eye on their Facebook page.

‘Mammals in a Sustainable Environment’
Project Work

Gwaith Prosiect ‘Mamaliaid mewn Amgylchedd Cynaliadwy’

“Mammals in a Sustainable Environment” (MISE) is a project funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Ireland Wales Programme 2007-2013 (INTERREG IVA) that aims to foster involvement of communities in  Wales and Ireland in mammal conservation, Read more about the MISE project here (http://www.vwt.org.uk/our-work/projects/mise-project ). The Vincent Wildlife Trust is one of the Welsh partners, and has been working with the MWRSP for 3 years, carrying out red squirrel surveys and helping with talks with local communities.  

Mae “Mamaliaid mewn Amgylchedd Cynaliadwy” (MISE) yn brosiect wedi'i ariannu gan Gronfa Ddatblygu Rhanbarthol Ewrop fel rhan o raglen Cymru ac Iwerddon 2007-2013 (INTERREG IVA) sydd â'r nod o feithrin cyfranogiad cymunedau yng Nghymru ac Iwerddon yng ngwaith cadwraeth mamaliaid.  Mae rhagor o fanylion am y prosiect yn http://www.vwt.org.uk/our-work/projects/mise-project. Mae Ymddiriedolaeth Natur Vincent yn un o'r partneriaid yng Nghymru, ac mae'n cydweithio â Phartneriaeth Gwiwerod Coch y Canolbarth ers tair blynedd, gan gynnal arolygon gwiwerod coch a helpu i ymgysylltu â chymunedau lleol.  

MISE Project Showcase

The Mammals in a Sustainable Environment (MISE) project is pleased to invite you to attend the MISE Project Showcase on Saturday 9th May, at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.  The day will include a number of guest speakers including Huw Denman from the Mid Wales Red Squirrel Partnership.  The Mid Wales Red Squirrel Project will have a stand at the event; anyone willing to help out with manning the stand, please contact Becky on b.hulme@welshwildlife.org
MISE project partners from Ireland and Wales will be giving illustrated talks about MISE work to include the pine marten, otters, harvest mice and red squirrels.  Entry to the Showcase is free and will include lunch and refreshments.  Spaces are limited and will initially be given to anyone who has taken part in a MISE mammal event or survey, including the red squirrel surveys, BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL, please contact Aline Denton on alinedenton@vwt.org.uk before 10th April

A camera trap and feeder will soon be installed in Cwm Berwyn, near Tregaron, in an area where 3 reds were identified in the MISE live-trapping study last July. A local resident will monitor the camera, which we hope will give us footage of reds, as well as alerting us to the presence of any greys so that swift action can be taken to remove them.

Radio-tracking Reds near Cwrt-y-Cadno

During November the MISE project undertook a red squirrel radio-tracking project in Bryn Arau Duon, a coniferous plantation near Cwrt-y-Cadno where 10 red squirrels were identified during a live-trapping survey last summer. The aim of the study was to find out more about how the reds are using this sub-optimal habitat. Five MISE volunteers learned how to use the radio-tracking equipment, and most of them were lucky enough to see at least one red squirrel. 
Pictured here are volunteer Adrian Hyde (left) receiving training in radio-tracking, with mammal ecologist Don Macpherson.  Adrian is also the Local Co-ordinator for the WTSWW Trap Loan Scheme in the Cellan area.

Nant-y-Bai
 
Results from a MISE hair tube survey last summer in Nant-y-Bai forest, Rhandirmwyn where red squirrel sightings have previously been recorded, confirmed that  grey squirrels were present in  the woodland closest to  the village. Neither greys nor reds were detected further into the forest.   Where both species are present, it is thought that  greys will dominate the hair tubes and reds will avoid using them, so we cannot reach a definitive conclusion that reds are not present in Nant-y-Bai.  The good news is that the 2 forestry companies that manage this woodland, Scottish woodlands and Prior & Rickett, have given permission for WTSWW volunteers to trap in the forest.  Matthew Hand, who is the Local Co-ordinator for the Trap Loan Scheme in the Rhandirmwyn area is currently undertaking grey squirrel control in Nant yr Bai and has plans to install a camera- monitored feeding station in an attempt to get a better picture of what's happening in the woods.
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