31.05.2019

The Return of the Red Squirrel

Luss Estates Company  is delighted to announce that after many years without a single sighting, a red squirrel was spotted in Luss last month.

Scotland’s much-loved, native red squirrels have been endangered for many years with rapidly declining numbers due to the spread of invasive, non-native grey squirrels.

Over the last seven years Luss Estates has been strategically controlling grey squirrel numbers thanks to a grant from Scottish National Heritage as part of a wider ongoing scheme in Scotland to protect the red squirrel population.

Due to its location and geography, Luss Estates is the gateway for grey squirrels to migrate to the west of Scotland. The estate’s participation in this government conservation scheme is therefore crucial to ensuring the control of grey squirrels across much of Scotland.

Commenting on the sighting of the red squirrel in her garden, Luss resident Fiona MacEachern said: “I had not seen one in such a long time, so I was extremely excited when I spotted the red squirrel cheekily tucking into our bird feeder! We’ve named him Bumpy Mackenzie after the children’s book character and have left more feed out to encourage him to come back again.”

Commenting on the latest visitor Simon Miller, CEO of Luss Estates Company, said: “We are very pleased to hear of Bumpy’s visit to the MacEachern’s garden. We have been keen participants in this coordinated action to promote red squirrels in this part of Scotland and are delighted to see it working.  

This scheme is a key part of our conservation agenda here on the estate, which includes measures to protect and enhance the Loch Lomond islands. As with the red squirrel’s conservation scheme, we believe the islands should be nationally recognised nature reserves given that they are amongst the most protected and important sites in Scotland, prized for their rare, native fauna and flora.”

Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project is a co-ordinated attempt between Scottish Wildlife Trust, Scottish National Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Land & Estates and the Red Squirrel Survival Trust. The initiative started in 2009 and has been widely hailed as a conservation success.

This story featred in the Helensburgh Advertiser and online at https://scottishsquirrels.org.uk/2019/04/25/a-red-squirrel-first-for-luss-estate/.