The extent of the slaughter of grey squirrels in the UK | Viva!

The extent of the slaughter of grey squirrels in the UK

The full extent of the planned killing greys across Britain is unclear. Certainly, it appears that they will be killed not only if they are deemed to ‘compete’ with reds, but seemingly if they are deemed to damage woodland in any other way. This, as the links below, demonstrate that greys will be killed in Britain where competition with reds is not an issue.

Countryside Steward Grants are available and, depending on the individual ‘woodland management plan’ greys are a focus. Given that money is exchanging hands to ‘improve’ woodland it does give rise to worries that greys will be killed for no other reason than to receive funds by satisfying criteria:

To receive this grant it lists not only:

“remove competing, non-native or invasive species by mechanical or chemical control, as agreed with an adviser”

But also:

“control grey squirrels if they’re identified as a threat in the woodland management plan”

This article suggests to receive the money those taking part need to ‘manage’ the greys:

“In addition there is quite an onerous list of other obligations such as trapping grey squirrels and deer control but many of them are the things that we do anyway.”

This advice from the Government (on Woodland Improvement) makes it clear that areas that don’t include red squirrels (i.e. greys only) are also being targeted:

“Control grey squirrels using live or lethal traps at 1 per ha and check them daily. In areas that also contain red squirrels only live traps can be used. Shooting can be used as a supplementary method of lethal control.”