On safari ... in the Glens

A SAFARI with a difference is on its way ... looking for red squirrels in the Glens!

A Moyle Council report stated: ‘The Antrim Glens are one of a very few strong holds for the red squirrel in Northern Ireland and one of the few places where if you are lucky you can see them.

‘This project would develop a Red Squirrel Safari, taking the visitor on a tour through the Antrim Glens, stopping at viewing points and walking opportunities, where red squirrels have been attracted to and learning about the red squirrel and its conservation. A Red Squirrel Road Show would also be developed to promote the Safari and the red squirrels at events during the summer.

‘This project will be lead by the Glens Red Squirrel Group, in partnership with local Councils, the Forest Service and other bodies. Permissions will need to be sought from the landowners for the erection of the interpretation story boards and the feeders. All sites proposed have good public access and known red squirrel populations.’

Amongst the proposed Glens Red Squirrel locations are: Glenarm Forest, Glenariff, Cottage Wood, Craigagh Wood, Cushendun and Ballycastle Forest.

Storyboard interpretations are set to be put in place at a number of locations.

The report added that project activities include:

* Develop, publish and distribute a Glens Red Squirrel Safari leaflet.

* Design, manufacture and install Glens Red Squirrel Safari interpretation storyboards at various sites.

* Erect strategically located feeders to maximise the chances of seeing red squirrels.

* Develop and co-ordinate volunteers to maintain these feeders and fill with food.

* Develop a Glens Red Squirrel Safari roadshow to promote the red squirrel experience.