Flight of red squirrels arrives for island's colony
The Westcountry could become the UK's leading region for wildlife re-colonisation if two projects at either end of the peninsula go to plan.
Earlier this week the latest hatch of cranes were released on the Somerset Levels – and as of yesterday 20 newly housed red squirrels have arrived on an island 28 miles west of Land's End.
Tresco started its re-colonisation of the increasingly rare creatures last year – and because the first red squirrels are now successfully living wild on the island, a new mix of males and female red squirrels, were transported from the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey to the island, with the last leg aboard a Royal Navy Air Squadron training flight from RNAS Culdrose.
The move is part an induction programme organised by wildlife writer Robin Page, the Countryside Restoration Trust, Tresco Estate and the British Wildlife Centre.
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Tresco is seen as a secure home for red squirrels whose numbers have been devastated on the mainland by its grey American cousin which carries, but doesn't suffer from, squirrel pox virus.
Mike Nelhams, Abbey Garden's curator, will be taking care of the new inhabitants along with kitchen gardener, David Hamilton.
Mr Nelhams told the WMN: "We accompanied the squirrels all the way from Surrey – it was very exciting when they eventually landed on Tresco."