Red squirrels arrive on Tresco by helicopter
TWENTY red squirrels have been airlifted by helicopter to take up permanent residence on.
The squirrels, made up of a mix of males and females, were transported safely from the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey to their new home on Scilly.
The final leg of the journey saw the endangered species board a Royal Navy Air Squadron training flight from RNAS Culdrose direct to Tresco.
The re-homing of the red squirrels is part of an induction programme and was organised collaboratively by Robin Page, the Daily Telegraph’s countryside editor, the Countryside Restoration Trust, Tresco Island and the British Wildlife Centre.
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As a private island, Tresco will be a secure home for the declining red squirrels and it is hoped that they will breed. With defined boundaries – the sea – they’ll be able to live free from the threat of squirrel pox.
Mike Nelhams, Abbey Garden’s curator, will be taking care of the new inhabitants on the island along with David Hamilton who in addition to running the Abbey’s kitchen garden, will also be looking after the reds day to day.
Mike said: “David and I accompanied the squirrels all the way from Surrey so it was very exciting when they eventually landed on. We are very grateful to the Royal Navy which was able to coincide bringing the squirrels over to Tresco with a planned exercise flight.
“The squirrels spent a few hours acclimatising to their new surroundings but are now roaming the island freely. We’ll continue to keep a close eye on them to make sure they settle in."
The red squirrels have joined two others that were brought over to Tresco last year.