Page last updated at 10:25 GMT, Monday, 6 October 2008 11:25 UK

Beer money to save red squirrels

Red Squirrel Ale label
The ale will be officially launched on Thursday

A new drink has been created by a Scottish brewery to help efforts to protect red squirrels.

Part of the proceeds from sales of Red Squirrel Ale will be donated to the Dingwall-based Highland Red Squirrel Group (HRSG).

The Highlands are considered a stronghold for the mammals, which has been threatened by competition and a disease carried by non-native greys.

The ale has been made by Atlas Brewery in Kinlochleven.

I hope there will be plenty of people asking for a pint of Red Squirrel Ale and a bag of nuts
Ian Collier
HRSG chairman

HRSG said it has been estimated that only 160,000 red squirrels are left in the UK.

Loss of habitat has been identified as another factor in their demise.

Thursday's launch of the ale coincides with Red Squirrel Week from 4-12 October.

Ian Collier, chairman of the HRSG, said: "We are really pleased to be in partnership with Atlas Brewery to raise the profile of red squirrels in the Highlands and to take the opportunity to raise funds for the Highland Red Squirrel Group charity.

"I hope there will be plenty of people asking for a pint of Red Squirrel Ale and a bag of nuts."

Norman Sinclair, managing director of Atlas Brewery's parent company, Sinclair Breweries, said the mammal was an iconic Highland creature.

He added: "The red squirrel is such an iconic Highland creature, we felt it was important to do our bit to ensure future generations will still be able to enjoy seeing them in their natural habitat."


SEE ALSO
'No alternative' to squirrel cull
27 Aug 08 |  South of Scotland
Grey squirrel 'may have hitched'
25 Apr 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Squirrel pox confirmed on estate
23 Apr 08 |  South of Scotland
Patrolling the squirrel frontline
10 Apr 08 |  South of Scotland
Plans to aid red squirrel numbers
10 Nov 06 |  Scotland

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