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Wood child

Brown Bears and red squirrels

Has anyone here seen a red squirrel in England before?
pookie

yes, in the Lake District and at Formby near Southport.
Brownbear

What have brown bears to do with grey and red squirrels?
Wood child

That was going to be my next post. When were bears last seen in England?
pookie

Brownbear wrote:
What have brown bears to do with grey and red squirrels?


maybe it was a question just for you BB, and I've interrupted Laughing
Wood child

Hey! who voted for the culling of greys?
Wood child

No pookie, I just used his name to attract attention.
Wood child

You still there?
Brownbear

Wood child wrote:
No pookie, I just used his name to attract attention.


I fear you overestimate the pulling power of my pointless cyberdrivel.
Wood child

Hey BB what did you vote for?
Brownbear

Wood child wrote:
Hey BB what did you vote for?


What makes you think I voted at all?

I'm certainly in favour of a cull of monkeys, especially chimps.
Jamanda

I've seen red squirrels in Co. Durham, the lakes and on Brownsea Island in Dorset.
12Bore

pookie wrote:
yes, in the Lake District and at Formby near Southport.

Ditto Smile
oldish chris

12Bore wrote:
pookie wrote:
yes, in the Lake District and at Formby near Southport.

Ditto Smile


Lived in Formby for about 20 years, frequently saw red squirrels in the back garden. I always used to describe Formby's whereabouts as "near Liverpool" - doesn't half get the locals upset Wink

Formby is far too posh for rough animals like the Brown Bear Wink
mochyn

I last saw a red near Buttermere about 18 years ago. There were several in our local park when I was young though, including an albino (Kent). Wish we had some here but there are too many foul greys.
maryf

I've seen reds on the Isle of Wight and in Thetford Forest.
Calli

We have reds in the Portumna Forest Park.


Sadly also have pine marten, copious varieties of mink.....
T.G

not seen reds around here in decades far too many greys
madcat

Used to live in Formby too,its an ok place but a bit dull.The red sqiggles used to come in the garden and eat peanuts,they were cute.
Shane

Greys should be culled because a) they are downright, bloody vandals and b) they are delicious.
mochyn

Shane wrote:
Greys should be culled because a) they are downright, bloody vandals and b) they are delicious.
And they carry a virus which kills reds.
Shane

Yeah, that too. But there aren't any reds within hundreds of miles of my place, but I do have a garden that gets wrecked and we have plenty of parks round here that get ruined, so it's a more pressing concern for me! I haven't had a squirrel problem for a while now, though Wink
matt_hooks

I saw my first red last year whilst living on the Isle of Rum. Fortunately the Grey tree rats haven't found their way there yet.

Squirrel, yummy, if a little difficult to get out of the wrapper!
unlacedgecko

Was home for the weekend once (North Northumberland) and saw 3 reds within the space of a few hours. I would defo vote for a cull of greys. Little buggers are a right nuisance. Bunny huggers wouldnt like it though. Was in Castle Park Colchester over the summer and saw locals hand feeding them. One lady was sat on a bench and a grey ran up her leg (!) to get the treat out of her hand. Only a matter of time before some one is bitten...
bibbster

oldish chris wrote:
12Bore wrote:
pookie wrote:
yes, in the Lake District and at Formby near Southport.

Ditto Smile


Lived in Formby for about 20 years, frequently saw red squirrels in the back garden. I always used to describe Formby's whereabouts as "near Liverpool" - doesn't half get the locals upset Wink

Formby is far too posh for rough animals like the Brown Bear Wink


I grew up in Formby too, when you could roam the pinewoods freely and there were loads of Red Squirrels and Natterjack toads (nostalgic sigh Rolling Eyes )
Cobnut

I wrote an essay on grey squirrels to get into uni and it was an eye opener. Now, I’m not a “bunny hugger” but I can’t help feeling a weeny bit sorry for a species which man (in his infinite wisdom) deliberately introduced to make things more interesting, which flourished and became a “pest”. If (hu)man didn’t think he was so superior we wouldn’t have the problem we do now, having to cull them.

But let’s not forget that we once slaughtered the reds in their tens of thousands because we considered them a pest, and when we’d got their numbers right down to a dangerous level we then introduced the greys. Although they don’t tend to physically attack the reds they out compete them so within about 15 years there’s only greys in an area.

There is a lot of anti-grey propaganda out there though which I didn’t realise til I was researching it. For example, one source said greys would be responsible for decimating our native Hazel trees because they strip the nuts before they are capable of germinating. So although they bury a lot of them they won’t become plants. However I, and a neighbour, have Hazel saplings all over our gardens where the greys have buried them so it’s not strictly true.

The greys do carry squirrel pox but it is thought they are immune because they built a resistance after suffering from it themselves, and that the same could happen to the reds. Of course, we wouldn’t have to worry about it if we hadn’t culled the reds to low numbers in the first place. Man creates a problem, but it’s ultimately the animals that suffer. Makes me so cross.

Bark stripping is a problem, but even the Forestry Commission is doing research to see whether the cost of culling is worth it compared to the lost revenue from the tree damage. So that’s not cut and dried.

Thankfully grey squirrels do taste nice but it’s a lot of bother for not much meat IMO (and they’re a sod to skin!)

I find it funny how humans are very fond of labelling some species as “pests” or “vermin” yet if you really want to create a problem with the environment you really do need a human to do it.
Brownbear

Cobnut wrote:

I find it funny how humans are very fond of labelling some species as “pests” or “vermin” yet if you really want to create a problem with the environment you really do need a human to do it.


Do humans not have a right to inhabit and affect the environment, then?
Cobnut

Brownbear wrote:
Cobnut wrote:

I find it funny how humans are very fond of labelling some species as “pests” or “vermin” yet if you really want to create a problem with the environment you really do need a human to do it.


Do humans not have a right to inhabit and affect the environment, then?

I think it’s hypocritical of humans to label some species as pests when so many humans have a negative impact on the environment. I think we have a responsibility to do as little harm as possible, yet we are so arrogant and think we can do what we like regardless. We have a lot of power but it’s often abused unfortunately.

We will probably never have a meeting of minds over this, Brownbear, and as I want to have a pleasant day today I’m not going to get into a debate about it, sorry. It’s too emotive and heavy a subject Sad ...and anyway, Columbo’s on at 1.30pm Cool
Brownbear

All I meant was, if it's OK for grey squirrels to out-compete the reds for resources, why isn't it OK for humans to out-compete the greys?
Jonnyboy

Saw a red yesterday in a forest in N.I. First time I have seen a red in nigh on 20 years.
dan1

Regardless of the ethical issues, I dont think a cull would work. The current massive grey population grew quickly from a few introductions because they're so successful. You cant put back the clock. It wouldnt be possible to totally eradicate them and any few survivors would quickly recolonise. You'd be committing money and resources to an endless and unwinnable war. We may as well live with them, and enjoy the odd squirrel stew.
Bodger

But it is working on Anglesey. The greys on the island have all but been eradicated by a long and well organised cull. This has lead to the red squirrel starting to flourish once again.
A lot of the work hasn't cost a penny because its been carried out by volunteeers.
There must be other geographically suited areas where similar culls could also be successful. I don't think that there would be any shortage of volunteers.

I don't think that any ethics come into it. They cary a disease which see's off the native red, they damage trees and play havoc with nesting birds and they taste nice.
dan1

Anglesea's an exception, like Brownsea etc. It's a relatively small island isn't it?. You simply couldn't eradicate grey's on the mainland without introducing some kind of biological control. I wasn't commenting on the ethics, just trying to be pragmatic
Bernie66

Some were discussing a mixy type control/eradication-not in any seriousness though.
Bodger

Its probably a much bigger piece of land than you think Dan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Anglesey
Bodger

Bernie66 wrote:
Some were discussing a mixy type control/eradication-not in any seriousness though.


No, not when the red would probably cop for any introduced disease as well.
Bernie66

Agreed, difficult one- maybe we need to eat more of the grey ones
mochyn

Bernie66 wrote:
Agreed, difficult one- maybe we need to eat more of the grey ones


We can all do our bit to help there, then! Very Happy
Brownbear

Bodger wrote:
Bernie66 wrote:
Some were discussing a mixy type control/eradication-not in any seriousness though.


No, not when the red would probably cop for any introduced disease as well.


We could just get rid of them both, clean slate if you will, and introduce a new, genetically engineered super-squirrel. Maybe in a nice tasteful pastel pink. And they could turn dayglo yellow after their first year, so that the visually impaired would still be able to shoot them under the terms of the disability discrimination act.

A win all round, really.
Bodger

You're still taking the tablets aren't you ? You should really ask for more. thumbup blob6
matt_hooks

Brownbear wrote:
Bodger wrote:
Bernie66 wrote:
Some were discussing a mixy type control/eradication-not in any seriousness though.


No, not when the red would probably cop for any introduced disease as well.


We could just get rid of them both, clean slate if you will, and introduce a new, genetically engineered super-squirrel. Maybe in a nice tasteful pastel pink. And they could turn dayglo yellow after their first year, so that the visually impaired would still be able to shoot them under the terms of the disability discrimination act.

A win all round, really.


That's a great idea, except that they would be "genetically modified" then, and people would be irrationally afraid of them and refuse to eat them. Then they'd take over the country and breed with everything in sight. Pretty soon you'd have dayglo labradors and flourescent frogs roaming the countryside. Still, at least the H&S buffs would be happy, as they bred with the human population the need for Hi Vis jackets would be eliminated as man became dayglo himself!
Wood child

Um... When I started this forum, I didn't expect such an emotional response. Who voted against the culling, anyway? And why?
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