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The Red Squirrel has been decreasing in numbers for years and fewer than 140, 000 individuals are thought to be left. Approximately 85% reside in Scotland but the remainder are scattered across other parts of the UK. A large part of their decrease is due to the introduction of the grey squirrels from North America, these grey squirrels carry a deadly virus for Red Squirrels, Squirrel pox, and as a result it is illegal to bring in a grey squirrel to red squirrel territory.

The Isle of Wight, a firm favourite for holiday makers staying in a bed and breakfast Isle of Wight, is an important strong hold for Red Squirrels as the solent acts as a barrier to keep the grey squirrel out. The woodland on the island can provide habitation for around 3, 500 red squirrels and they now occupy broadleaved woodland across the island.

The Wight Project, is a charity based on the island working to help keep Red Squirrels from extinction. They tackle anything to do with squirrels from contentious planning applications to campaigning for ‘Squirrel road crossings’. From fundraising to sponsorship they also offer Squirrel Events throughout the year for people on Isle of Wight breaks or locals who have an interest in the beautiful red squirrel. It is a sad fact that a large percentage of people, especially the younger generation, have never seen the Red Squirrel, the only squirrel native to the UK. Chances to see them in their native environment through event walks and talks with the likes of The Wight Project should be taken at any given opportunity and if there is a chance you could help to keep charities like the Wight Project going through help with funding and sponsorship then it would be greatly beneficial to the Red Squirrels.

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