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Friday, 21 April, 2000, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
Squirrels reprieve from forest shake-up
Red squirrel
Populations at the Pentraeth Forest have risen
Proposed forestry work which renewed concerns over the future of a colony of red squirrels in north Wales, has been postponed.

The Scots Pine trees at Mynydd Llwydiarth in Pentraeth - one of only four red squirrel breeding site in Wales - were due to be felled and re-planted in the 500 acre forest.

Now Forest Enterprise has agreed a year's moratorium on felling in the area.


Ieuan Wyn Jones
Ynys Mon MP Ieuan Wyn Jones

The Anglesey Red Squirrel Project had been working to increase the population levels at the forest and had been credited with helping numbers increase by one third.

The decision to postpone felling work has been welcomed by Anglesey MP Ieuan Wyn Jones.

"Our island would be far poorer if yet another species like the red squirrel were to disappear from the countryside," he said.

"Seeing wild animals such as the red squirrel adds to people's enjoyment when walking in the countryside and I believe that it is important for us to take positive steps to protect bio-diversity."

Forestry Enterprise manager Kim Burnham had previously said that the project's claims were being taken "seriously".

Forestry management

The potential for squirrel populations to drop existed, but forestry management was required, he said.

Consultations had taken place with the Countryside Council for Wales and various mammal experts.

"We believe on the whole that our actions are squirrel-friendly," said Mr Burnham.

"The problem with Pentraeth Forest is that it was planted in the 1950s and as forests get older, their seeding potential diminishes, which means it is not as good a habitat."

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See also:

19 Sep 99 | Sci/Tech
Red squirrels find safe refuge
23 Sep 98 | UK
Squirrels red and dead
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