Red Squirrels return to Troutbeck Valley
A campaign to bring red squirrels back to the Troutbeck valley to the east of Windermere is
already showing signs of success. Recently, the first red for many a long year was spotted
running towards one of the Westmorland Red Squirrel Society’s volunteers in Troutbeck
Bridge. Now another has been spotted just off the Kirkstone Road in the Troutbeck Park
area on one of our new state-of-the-art trail cameras.
Jayne Musson, the Westmorland Red Squirrels member, local resident and local milk lady
who saw the red squirrel, was ecstatic about the sightings. “We have been encouraging
local residents to report and control grey squirrels. I, and other local people, have also
raised money from plant sales and other events to promote and finance our Society’s efforts
to get the red squirrels back in our valley. It’s so encouraging to see such positive results
and makes us confident that we can turn Westmorland red once more.”
Bob Cartwright, trustee and secretary of Westmorland Red Squirrels added, “Jayne and
her neighbours really deserve the reward of the reds’ return as they’ve been tireless in their
efforts to have them back. I would also pay tribute to Cumbria County Council’s Central
Lakes Neighbourhood Forum, who recently gave us a grant to buy the trail cameras.
And to the Lake District National Park Authority, who grant-aided our Three Valleys Plus
project, that has enabled us to conduct a targeted programme of grey squirrel control in the
Troutbeck valley, Kentmere and Longsleddale.
We know that local people and visitors alike love to see our iconic native red squirrels and
that our tourism industry benefits from their survival in south Cumbria. All the evidence is
pointing to the fact that coordinated grey control and good local information about where the
squirrels are is allowing red squirrel populations to recover.”
Lake District National Park ranger, Steve Tatlock, said: “Red squirrels are one of our priority
species, so the sightings in Troutbeck are great news and a tribute to the tireless work of all
the volunteers and professionals involved in bringing reds back to the places they belong.
Not only are they an important part of a balanced eco-system, they bring pleasure to all who
see them, including our many visitors who are vital to the local economy.”