Scots school kids take action over red squirrel road safety

Youngsters angered over deaths of red squirrels on road. Picture: Contributed

Youngsters angered over deaths of red squirrels on road. Picture: Contributed

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A group of primary school children have forced government bureaucrats to take action to prevent red squirrels being killed on roads.

Pupils from a school in the far north of Scotland festooned road signs with their own hand-drawn warnings after Transport Scotland contractors took down an unapproved one paid for by locals. The youngsters took action after several rare red squirrels were killed on the roads near Ullapool. Six have been killed on the A835 since the start of December.

Locals initially paid £150 for their own “official” road sign but this was removed because it was installed without permission.

Eleven hand-made signs were created by youngsters at Ullapool Primary School and last weekend they were attached to a variety of existing road signs. The children drew fat red squirrels with large tails on the signs, and coloured them in. One reads: “SOS - Save Our Squirrels” while another states: “Help!!!” and “Slow down cars.”

Local wildlife campaigner Noel Hawkins, 46, sent pictures to Transport Scotland.

He said: “They took it upon themselves and the teacher in school let them do it. We didn’t tell them to do it. They ranged from six to 11 years old.”

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: “It is great pupils at Ullapool Primary are taking an interest in saving red squirrels in their area.

“We need to balance the need for such signs with road safety and that is why we are arranging for compliant signs to be put in place.”

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