Introducing the new Eastern Lowlands Red Squirrel Group

In February 2023 the Eastern Lowlands Red Squirrel Group (ELRSG) was established with funding through the Red Squirrel Survival Trust. It is an independent group from Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels as the project does not cover this area. The Eastern Lowlands includes the Kingdom of Fife, Clackmannanshire, part of Stirling and parts of Perth and Kinross.


East Lowland Red Squirrel Group Project Area


The group is led by Hollie Sutherland (Project Coordinator and ex SSRS North East Scotland Project Officer) and Val Gall (Group Operations Officer). The pair have already started working in collaboration with the long running volunteer led Fife Red Squirrel Group and they hope to join and establish further networks of volunteers, volunteer groups and organisations across the project area.


Project Aims
  • Establish and support existing volunteer groups responsible for preserving the current red squirrel populations and habitat
  • Work in partnership with Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels (SSRS) to increase squirrel sighting records across the project area
  • Support existing squirrel surveying efforts by local squirrel groups by creating a project area wide squirrel monitoring effort to help improve baseline data and allow for targeted grey squirrel management
  • Provide training for volunteers in grey squirrel management
  • Ensure a reduction in grey squirrel sightings by targeted trapping activity – including a trap loan scheme
  • Increase community awareness and interest in red squirrel conservation across the project area via social media, website, agricultural events/shows and adult and youth groups
  • Explore fundraising potential for longer term red squirrel conservation.

Initially we are looking to recruit volunteers and find out who is already contributing towards red squirrel conservation within the project area.


Become a volunteer

There are a number of ways you can get involved with the project:

  • Squirrel surveying – feeder box installation and monitoring, trail camera monitoring and/ or transects (transects are being managed by the Fife Red Squirrel Group within Fife)
  • Habitat assessments
  • Grey squirrel management
  • Administration/clerical duties
  • Data input
  • Group promotion and outdoor events/shows
  • Group Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Quartermaster

If you are interested in getting involved with any of the roles above please email the project via the contact details below.


Already doing red squirrel conservation?

Are you a landowner, land manager, keeper, forester, pest controller, home owner or similar? If so,  we are interested in what you currently do to contribute towards red squirrel conservation. That could be any of the following:

  • Manage woodlands for the the benefit of red squirrels
  • Report red and grey squirrel sightings to SSRS
  • Perform structured surveys of squirrels
  • Manage grey squirrels
  • Educational/ public outreach activities promoting red squirrel conservation

If you wouldn’t mind sharing with us if you do any of the above, that would be much appreciated. You can email us via the contact details below.

By getting to know what is already happening across the project area we can direct our efforts to areas where strong populations of red squirrels have less protection.


Next steps

Our plan over the next few months is to establish fine (transects and feeder box monitoring) and broader scale (sightings) surveying of red and grey squirrels across the entire project area and within tetrads (2x2km squares) to get a better understanding of red squirrel strongholds and establish targeted grey squirrel management to protect those red squirrel strongholds – keeping them grey squirrel free. To do this we need to work out land ownership of particular woodlands, get permission to survey and control these woodlands and recruit volunteers to carry out the work. If you can help in any way please do not hesitate to get in touch!


Hollie and Val – Eastern Lowlands Red Squirrel Group


Social Media: Facebook and Instagram

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