Perthshire comeback for red squirrels

RED squirrels are making a comeback in Scotland following a cull of their grey rivals.

Alan Grant said: 'There is an increase in red squirrels in Perth and Kinross.' Picture: Contributed

Sightings in Perthshire have increased since a project began to stop the spread of the grey squirrel.

The region is regarded by the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels’ campaign as “strategically important” to the success of halting the spread of grey squirrels north into the Highlands.

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The project aims to stop the decline of Scotland’s red squirrel population, currently estimated at around 121,000.

Perth and Kinross Council’s environment committee were asked this week to approve plans to monitor the number of grey squirrels on council land and look into “controlling” their population.

Environment committee convener Alan Grant said: “There is an increase in red squirrels in Perth and Kinross.

“I have seen some cross the road in the Rosemount area of Blairgowrie.”

Councillor Willie Robertson told the committee the red squirrel was “making a comeback”, with at least five recent sightings in Perth itself.

He said: “When people are out walking or cycling they often say they saw a red squirrel – it was the highlight of their day.”

Councillors agreed to set up squirrel-monitoring feeder boxes throughout the area and hair samples will be examined to determine which species is present.