Page last updated at 12:11 GMT, Sunday, 27 April 2008 13:11 UK

High hopes for squirrel reserve

Red Squirrel
Red Squirrels are under-threat in Britain

A new flagship reserve for Britain's under-threat red squirrel is being launched in Cumbria.

The Forestry Commission has teamed up with Save Our Squirrels to create new facilities at Whinlatter, near Keswick.

Whinlatter - one of Cumbria's largest forests - is one of the few places in England that still has a good population of red squirrels.

Numbers of red squirrels have dwindled since greys were introduced in the 19th Century and dominated habitats.

'Best loved'

New facilities include an interactive indoor red squirrel experience, where people can learn about the endangered mammal.

There is also a new squirrel scurry trail, which will give people more opportunities to understand and see red squirrels in the surrounding forest.

Lord Clark of Windermere, who officially launches the facility on Monday, said: "Red squirrels are one of our best loved native animals, yet sadly they are seriously under threat.

"The Forestry Commission has managed Whinlatter as a reserve for the last three years and was pleased to gain the support of Save our Squirrels to install these new facilities.

"The Forestry Commission will ensure that the habitat at Whinlatter continues to favour red squirrels and work to provide new ways for people to learn more about these popular animals."

Help needed to save red squirrels
11 Dec 07 |  Lancashire
Red squirrel dies of deadly virus
17 Jul 06 |  Merseyside
Grey squirrels face massive cull
22 Jan 06 |  Science/Nature
Bridge saves courting squirrels
01 Mar 04 |  Merseyside

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