New faces and farewells


Here we are at Midsummer, three months into the Transition phase at Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels. It has been a busy few months and there have been some changes along the way, with new faces throughout.

First we had Greg Kemish, who stepped into Project Administrator Katie’s shoes while she went on secondment for a couple of months. Greg looked after our administrative needs beautifully in that time and we wish him well in his next adventure.

Katie, meanwhile has been off on her own adventures taking part in Osprey Watch at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s reserve Loch of the Lowes near Dunkeld. Here Katie joined a dedicated team of staff and volunteers monitoring and protecting ospreys on the reserve during the most crucial part of their breeding season. Highlights included watching the resident female osprey lay 3 eggs, observing the hatching and development of the young chicks, and admiring the incredible methods by which both parent ospreys worked together to ensure the very best chances for their young. Other favourite wildlife moments consisted of incredible beaver and pine marten sightings, as well as of course lots of red squirrels (almost daily!) around the reserve.

In Tayside we have two seasonal Grey Squirrel Control Officers, Mario and Gavin, while Yvonne has joined the Northeast team as Monitoring and Control Officer for Mearns and East Angus.  Yvonne will be building upon the NE Team’s Rapid Response Monitoring scheme in the Mearns, and extending this into North-east Angus, with the support of the North-east Team in Aberdeen, whilst also liaising closely with the team in Tayside. The Mearns & East Angus section of the highland line is a crucial location in both the defence of the Highland Line and ensuring that the risk of immigration into Aberdeen city’s island population of grey squirrels from the south remains as close to zero as possible.

We are also delighted to welcome our new Programme Manager Nicole Still to the team. Originally from the Great Lakes region in the US, Nicole has spent the last decade studying and working in temperate forests.

She earned her MSc from the University of Edinburgh and SRUC and is currently wrapping up her PhD research in forest sciences from the University of Freiburg. Her research has focused on the impacts of forest and wildlife management on biodiversity, with fieldwork experience ranging from the Rocky Mountains to the Black Forest to SWT reserves across central and eastern Scotland.

Nicole has previously worked with several conservation NGOs in the UK and North America, in outreach and programme management roles, and is very excited to be getting back to the applied conservation sector as part of the SWT and SSRS teams.

With her experience with invasive species and knowledge of forest habitat I have no doubt that Nicole will find herself at home with the squirrel team.

Finally we say goodbye to Lucy Lush, our Assistant Project manager and Ryan Greenwood, Project Officer for South-east Scotland. We wish them both well in their  new ventures and thank them for all their hard work on behalf of red squirrel conservation in Scotland. We will miss Ryan’s dry humour and Lucy’s calm approach to absolutely everything.

If you would like to work with us at Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels follow the links for more information:

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