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I like Grey Squirrels,the have adapted and are prospering despite the often bad press,too many people want to reintroduce animals that have failed to survive ( sea eagle,beaver,wolf) and yet want to kill of those that have.
I too have a family of four grey squirrels which visit my garden which backs on to a large cemetery where they live in the tall trees., I have tried unsuccessfully to stop them eating the food put out for the birds. I also bought a squirrel proof feeder but they managed to open it, despite then tieing it shut with wire, which the chewed through...
I have endless stories about squirrels. The dumbest one lives in my garden. It has to flatten itself to get under the side gate but, when I have propped it open for some reason, it still flattens itself as if it were shut. My sister had very clever squirrels in Edmonton in Canada. They would dry their fungi between her logs and check everyday for dry ones to take away for winter storage. They had also learned to suck the sugar solution she put out for the humming birds. I have to look out for the buried nuts, chestnuts, acorns, in my garden when they germinate or else all would be jungle. My feeble-minded squirrel cannot remember where he buried them.
I was in the park yesterday with my 20 month old daughter. When I got back to my pushchair there was a grey squirrel on there. It wasn't until I got home that I realised the cheeky fellow had helped himself to the onion rings I had just bought from the supermarket! They sure have evolved!!
I have RED squirrels in my garden. My local wildlife trust hosts the Save our Squirrels team who are working to protect the remaining red squirrels in England. Grey squirrels are good to eat. Local butchers supply them here in Northumberland. Maybe if people elsewhere asked their butchers for them we could get the hunters out looking for easy prey and reduce the grey squirrel population. They spread squirrel pox to reds as well as destroying trees and houses.


Where I live I have 8 to 10 red squirrels feeding in autumn and winter and right now there are4 fighting for prime position on the feeder. We are very lucky on Arran as there are no greys but these reds can be extremely mischievous. They do come expensive though with large sacks of peanuts keeping them happy!!
We have a plague of grey squirrles and have shot 40 of them in the last two 18 months. They may be nice in a suburban park or back garden, but they are countryside thugs and ruin most things they can get into.
I can appreciate that greys may provide amusement to anyone who has not witnessed the beauty and grace of the red squirrel. Greys may do little damage in the garden, apart from digging holes in what were at one time perfect lawns. They are also responsible for stealing eggs from birds nests and sometimes taking young birds and they do have a devastating effect on our native reds. These foreign invaders spread the deadly squirrel pox virus, which the greys are immune to. Unfortunately the reds are not immune to the virus and to see a red with this virus is a horrible sight. Do your bit for native British wildlife and help us to try to dramatically reduce the grey population and preserve our precious red squirrels. More publicity should be given in wildlife programmes to the beauty of the reds.
I too can understand why people are oftern charmed by grey squirrels that visi their garden and seem to do little or no harm. I too am an animal lover and do not like the thought of killing animals. However, do these same people realise that grey squirrels should not be here and although they have acclimatised well and breen incredibly successful in the 150 or so years they have been here, they belong in America and are slowly but surely replacing our wonderful red squirrel which has been here for 10,000 ears? Apart from various amounts of damage they do in gardens and often inside houses, greys cause thousand of pounds worth of damage to tree plantations each year. The same plantations that provide us with many of our wooden goods from houses to salad servers. Greys carry squirrelpox virus which they appear immune to but with deadly consequences for reds within 2 weeks. Would those same people feel the same if the mink were to kill off 99% of otters, or Himalayan balsam was to invade their garden so all other species of plants were suffocated and killed off? I think not. So consider what the influx of the alien grey is doing to our gardens and countryside and their deadly impact on our native reds who have been here since the last ice age!
Greys do cause damage as do foxes but given the choice between them and cats with doting owners who reject acknowledging their murderous and fouling ways I'll accept the squirrels in numbers anyday.
we have put up a bird boxes and squirrel boxes in our local cemetery.It is loverly to sit and watch them but one man takes it on himself to smash them down because he is complaning about the birds and squirrels sitting in the tree and messing on his stone
They wreck my bird feeders! If they can't knock the bottom out, they knock the top off and empty the feeder on the ground, or chew through the metal. So far thin green wire is keeping the feeders squirrel proof, but it remains to be seen for how long!
It's about time people in britain start to appreciate our native wildlife and get over the "cute and cuddly" syndrome. We must do everything in our power to conserve our red squirrels.We are lucky so far in Northern Ireland not to have any reported cases of squirrelpox affecting reds(to the best of my knowledge)but greys are increasing at an alarming rate. We have set up several red squirrel groups with the aim of educating people to the problems caused by greys and also carry out supplementary feeding for reds. I agree with wats577's comments that more wildlife film makers need to report on what is happening with our local wildlife instead of what is happening in other parts of the world only. WE NEED TO ACT NOW OR WE ARE CONDEMNING OUR RED SQUIRREL TO EXTINCTION.
One of the strongest colonies of red squirrels was at the Formby nature reserve near Blackpool. They would also be seen in peoples back gardens. Through sloth and apathy greys got nearer and nearer geographically, and spread the squirrel pox to the reds there, and now the reserve is empty. My Mum used to have reds in the garden and now there are none. One of my childhood memories that no more children will experience. More will need to be done to save the small pockets of red squirrels on eg Brownsea Island.
I agree wholeheartedly with those who wish to cull the grey squirrel population and to preserve our red squirrel population. However, can anyone suggest what we might DO to stop squirrels in our gardens, especially if we like to feed the birds? The best thing I have found for keeping squirrels off the bird feeder is a large perspex dome that fits over the feeder and which the squirrels simply cannot find a way round and they slide off eventually. They cannot bite through it and eventually give up trying to get under it. It's made by Droll Yankees and is one of the best things I ever bought.


One of the problems in the reds vs grey's debate is that very few people in Britain get to see wild mammals in their gardens and parks and are delighted to see one, especially if it is friendly or amusing to watch. Greys fulfil this need for many people. Reds have done this in the past only on a very limited scale and even if all the greys were eliminated would take over a century to breed back to a level where they could do this, if ever in cities, because of their more limited dietary needs. We don't have an argument yet which overcomes this nice to watch in favour of the reds. in case anyone wants to know I live in an area without either reds or greys and would love to have either - preferably a red. Seeing a mouse or a brown rat is a highlight (as long as they stay out of the house). I took a group of children (8-12 years old) to a nature reserve with a feeding station and hide. While we were there a brown rat came out to feed. The children were fasinated - it was the first wild mammal any of them had seen! While many people feel the same about greys as the children did about the rat it will be difficult to get people behind elimination of the greys. I don't think there is any way to promise reintroduction of the red (even if disease resistance could be bred in) to replace the greys if a full cull was to take place and until there is some people will not want or accept a cull.
There is a grey squirrel who comes to my garden everyday and steals sunflower seeds and seed balls from the birdfeeders. The RSPB site suggests mixing/coating chilli powder with the seeds and seed balls as the birds do not mind the chilli powder but the squirrels do not like them. I have done this to some degree of success and was wondering if it will also work for my pot plants and other plants/bulbs in the garden which the squirrel likes to destroy by digging holes and eating the bulbs/roots. Has anybody else tried this and will the chilli powder harm the plants?
Any advice for a dealing with a rogue blackbird. I live on a new housing estate, have a large patio with large tubs containing cherry, apricot and plum trees on dwarf root stocks as well as 2 bluberry bushes. Despite trying to get netting around my bluberrys and hanging an array of shiny objects to deter the little rascal, it has stripped the blueberries and cherries and has now attacked (and made a complete mess of) my ripening apricots. Earlier in the year it dug up all my carrot and parsnip seedlings (looking for worms) in my small raised patio bed. All my hard work ruined! Any suggetstions?
Grey squirrels are a pest they should all be shot as well as any other non-native wildlife such as mink and muntjak deer because they destroy our native wildlife