Grey squirrels no aliens

Hardly a day goes by that we are not confronted with some conservation organisation claiming pending disaster if we don't rid ourselves of yet another "alien" to protect native species.

Grey squirrels are the current objects of hate and the latest idea that we should kill, cook and eat them into extinction is abhorrent to many people who would rather enjoy the friendly and amusing antics of these wild animals while they are alive, rather than have bits of them served on a plate.

However, I would suggest that the concept of "nativeness" is fundamentally flawed because, although their ancestors came from overseas, individual members of the present population have been born and bred in this country for around 45 generations and are as "native" as any human born here, irrespective of their ethnic origins.

When a grey squirrel is killed, it is a native individual that's being persecuted.

ANGUS MACMILLAN, Meikle Boturich, near Balloch, Dunbartonshire