Busy time for Red Squirrel Rangers

Ballycastle Brownies and Rainbows with red squirrel Ranger Daniel McAfee as they go on a forestry walk. INBM21-14

Ballycastle Brownies and Rainbows with red squirrel Ranger Daniel McAfee as they go on a forestry walk. INBM21-14

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The Glens Red Squirrel Group have received funding from the NIEA NGO Challenge Fund to train and equip six volunteer Red Squirrel Rangers.

These Rangers will engage with community groups, youth groups local originations the pubic to raise the awareness of red and grey squirrels.

Ballycastle Brownies with the squirrel feeder they sponsored in Ballycastle forest. INBM21-14

Ballycastle Brownies with the squirrel feeder they sponsored in Ballycastle forest. INBM21-14

Along with raising awareness, they want to help people who have squirrels on their property by providing them with feeders or information on how to help the squirrels.

To date, they have worked in conjunction with the National Trust in Glenmona Cushendun to make red squirrel playground for reds, a feeding site with ropes and feeders where people can view the first reds.

The Rangers are working with St. Killian’s ECO club to develop a Nature Reserve within the school grounds.

The Rangers have done walks and talks for local groups such as Ballintoys Young at Heart, Ballintoy & Dunseverick Youth Club and Ballycastle Brownies and Rainbows.

Ballycastle Rainbows with the squirrel feeder they sponsored in Ballycastle forest.INBM21-14

Ballycastle Rainbows with the squirrel feeder they sponsored in Ballycastle forest.INBM21-14

As well as public walks at Easter, there were walks for Ballycastle Brownies and Rainbows and local primary schools.

The Rangers are also actively working to prevent the encroach of grey squirrels and are working along with landowners, farmers, forestry and home owners to do this.

They are also working with people in Ballygalley and Broughshane to control the grey squirrels, so that reds will move back into these areas.

The Rangers are eager to engage with people in the Ballymoney and Coleraine areas before the small number of reds there are lost by the damaging impact of the grey squirrels.

The Rangers are offering trapping training and squirrel trap loaning to landowners to remove greys from their ground.

If you know of any squirrels, report them to the Glens red squirrel group’s Hotline number 08713157376.

You can also check their web page – www.glensredsquirrelgroup.com – or find them on Facebook.