We couldn’t save Scotland’s red squirrels without the support of our volunteers, and your health and safety is of utmost importance to us. Following the latest advice from both the Scottish Government and our lead partner, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, we would like to issue the following guidance to all our volunteers in light of the current coronavirus pandemic:
Most volunteer activities (for example participating in the spring survey or grey squirrel control) involve lone working in remote locations with one-to-one training, and therefore do not pose a significant risk. However, volunteers should continue to follow the usual health and safety precautions such as thorough hand-washing after contact with feeder boxes and traps.
Health and safety advice for your volunteering role can be found in your volunteering induction pack, and can also be downloaded from the SSRS Community Hub. If you have any questions or concerns about your volunteering activities, or if you are required to self-isolate, please contact your local Community Engagement Officer or Conservation Officer for further advice.
All scheduled red squirrel volunteer events, meetings and group training sessions organised by SSRS will be postponed for the time being, and it is our recommendation that our volunteer networks do the same for their own organised gatherings. Your local Community Engagement Officer or Conservation Officer will keep groups informed as the situation changes.
If you would like to keep in touch with your group during this period, each group page on the Community Hub includes a forum that can be used to post questions and discussion topics. There are also several training resources available on our website, including spring survey and Hub training videos.
An important note about Virkon-S
Virkon-S is a broad-spectrum disinfectant that is issued to volunteers for the prevention of squirrelpox spread, usually in tablet form. It is not suitable for use indoors, and is not safe for humans. It is classified as an irritant and should always be handled following the correct safety precautions, and only used for its intended purpose. Please familiarise yourself with the Virkon-S health and safety guidelines and risk assessment (provided in your volunteering pack and available on the Community Hub).
Thank you for your cooperation and your continued support of Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels.