A few weeks a go we supplied a dozen more squirrels to Caldey Island for their releases over there. These joined the few we sent previously over the last couple of years, and it is hoped they will establish a healthy little population with the help from the island residents.
We are well known for our island releases, working closely with other conservation groups to establish pockets of wild red squirrels where they are safe from grey squirrels. We couldn't do all the hard work ourselves though in terms of breeding the animals, and do this with the help of several other holders.
We manage a breeding group, including many local agricultural colleges and private holders, who look after squirrels for us and breed them to supply kittens for the releases. This along with the many we breed here on site are the basis of keeping the group going, helping out other groups around the country with swapping bloodlines, and of course providing squirrels for our releases.
Above you can see three squirrel kittens that were bred this year at the Berkshire College of Agriculture, this lovely bit of footage taken by Nick Shelley. Once old enough and fending for themselves, kittens like these come back to us before they move on to their new life.
So, how are our ones doing on Caldey at the moment?.. Well it is still very early days of course, but so far signs are good. Here are a couple of photos we got sent last week to show how they have been settling in and finding their way around.