Red squirrels are a protected species (under Schedule 5 and 6 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981). By law, it is illegal to kill, disturb or injure this species, or to damage their dreys, whether this is done deliberately or recklessly. Therefore, when considering a development proposal, the local planning authority and licensing agencies often dictate that surveys are carried out to determine the effects of the development on red squirrels, and to identify if mitigation, compensation or enhancement measures are required.
Red squirrel surveys usually include methods such as visual vantage point surveys, hair tube surveys, drey counts, searches for feeding sigs or using whole maize bait. Sometimes remote camera traps can be deployed. This can also be a good opportunity to record what other types of wildlife are present around a potential development site, such as badgers, foxes and deer. The photos below were all captured around Northumberland.
Acer Ecology are experienced in undertaking red squirrel surveys and can provide expert advice to developers, design mitigation strategies and provide solutions for developers seeking planning permission for a range of construction and infrastructure projects. For more information about red squirrel surveys or any of our other ecological services, call our head office on 029 2065 0331.