Joy as reds return to areas after a prolonged absence

Glen Graham with the baby red squirrel he is looking after.
Glen Graham with the baby red squirrel he is looking after.

A voluntary group’s efforts to give red squirrels a fighting chance in an area of Northumberland are bearing fruit.

Since being formed in early 2012, Morpeth and District Red Squirrels (MAD RS) has been putting up feeders to help reds and trying to control grey numbers as much as possible in the area.

In addition, the core team has been gathering support from residents and landowners to help with sightings and trapping grey squirrels.

Decent progress has been made and MAD RS joint co-ordinator Kate Weightman said members are delighted that several reports have been logged in recent weeks of red squirrels being spotted in Borough Woods, while grey sightings in the same area have declined.

“Shadfen is another place where reds have returned and there was a sighting at Townsend Crescent – in the past we have only had requests from residents there for grey squirrel traps,” she added.

“It’s fantastic that our work is making a difference and hopefully there will be more red squirrel locations reported in the coming weeks and months.

“There are about 200 contacts who use our website and regularly report sightings, but we think many more people are involved in the feeding of reds.

“A number of our members have put in a lot of effort and Glen Graham, who is a member of the group and works for Red Squirrels Northern England as a ranger, continues to do a fantastic job. He is also currently caring for a baby red squirrel.

“We’re also grateful to all the organisations that have given us support.”

A smaller group has recently been set up to cover Ellington and Cresswell, with its members benefiting from a UK Coal grant to purchase traps and squirrel feed.

For more information about MAD RS, visit