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  Boost for Britain's red squirrels
Updated 03 February 2004, 09.12
Peek-a-boo!
The future's looking brighter for the UK's dwindling red squirrel population after a special haven for them opened.

There are just 30,000 of the creatures left in the country after they got squeezed out by competition and disease from the grey squirrel.

The greys were introduced from North America and there are now two million of them in the UK.

The forest haven's in Cumbria. It's got conifers which are not favoured by the greys, so the reds can get some peace.

This chap looks like he's dancing
This chap looks like he's dancing

The reds were once widespread in the UK.

But these days large numbers of them are found only in areas like Cumbria, Merseyside, Northumberland and Suffolk.

Favourite

"The red squirrel is an animal we care about passionately," said TV botanist David Bellamy, who opened the haven.

"Saving them is important... we all cherish them as one of our favourite wild animals."

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