Aims & background
The UK Squirrel Accord (UKSA) is a UK-wide partnership of 41 leading conservation and forestry organisations, Government agencies and companies, with links to red squirrel community groups.
UKSA works collaboratively to preserve the UK’s wooded landscapes and associated biodiversity under the following aims to:
- Secure and expand UK red squirrel, Sciurus vulgaris, populations beyond current thresholds
- Ensure UK woodlands flourish and deliver multiple benefits for future generations of wildlife and people
UKSA was formed at the invitation of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. The partnership aims to bring a concerted and coordinated approach to securing the future of our red squirrels, improving the health of our woodlands, and managing the negative impacts of the grey squirrel, which is invasive in the UK.
Grey squirrels were introduced to the UK from the 1870s and cause environmental and economic damage. They are replacing red squirrels through competition and transmission of the squirrel pox virus. This is a disease they rarely contract, but which is almost always fatal to red squirrels.
High densities of grey squirrels also threaten the health and survival of important tree species. Their bark stripping and girdling behaviour weakens and kills trees, and the open wounds created are susceptible to infection from pathogens. Trees 10-50 years of age are targeted, which is an issue for quality timber production and the creation of new woodland for conservation and climate change mitigation.
UKSA signatories recognise the vital importance of conserving the future of the UK’s red squirrel populations and reducing the numbers of grey squirrels.
UKSA partners work collaboratively to:
- Fundraise for and support research into a fertility control for grey squirrels.
- Explore innovative management and conservation measures.
- Increase public awareness of key issues.
- Engage with landowners and local groups.
- Enhance engagement with existing partnerships and projects.
- Share best practice and knowledge.
- Improve links between various key sectors.
Please contact us if you would like to know more about the partnership and our work: firstname.lastname@example.org