Bill Esterson MP thanked Lancashire Wildlife Trust and hundreds of volunteers for their work protecting red squirrels through their “Saving the last reds”.

Mr Esterson visited the trust’s Formby Dune Heath reserve and was shown the work being done to look after the reds. The invitation came after Mr Esterson had spoken about the trust’s work in a debate in Parliament.

Mr Esterson met Rachel Cripps, the Red Squirrel Officer at the Wildlife Trust heard about the work being done to stop grey squirrels from taking over red squirrel areas like Formby and Blundellsands.

Bill Esterson MP said, “The Wildlife Trust does an excellent job protecting red squirrels against the threats they face, including from grey squirrels and from squirrel pox. Thank you to Rachel Cripps and her colleagues and volunteers who do such a fantastic job in Sefton. The Formby reserve is an excellent example of nature conservation and I was really pleased that I could take part in the debate in parliament recently to talk about the great work being done by the trust. There are red squirrels up and down the coast and inland and anyone who want to learn more or to help the trust can call or email for information. While Rachel and her team were showing me round the reserve, we met dog walkers who wanted to help and I know that many of my constituents care passionately about our reds and about wildlife more generally. Thank you again to the Wildlife Trust and to everyone who volunteers to help out. It is vital that we protect wildlife including red squirrels. Biodiversity is crucial to a thriving environment and is as important in the fight against the climate crisis as cutting down our carbon emissions.”

Lancashire Wildlife Trust co-ordinate all red squirrel conservation work throughout the north Merseyside and west Lancashire stronghold. They record and map every single sighting of red and grey squirrels reported to us, carry out a standardised bi-annual monitoring programme to track changes in the red squirrel population, work with students to carry out vital research on population dynamics and squirrel pox virus, co-ordinate and carry out essential grey squirrel control in the woodlands and urban areas, run community engagement events and work with schools to deliver education workshops, as well as training volunteers in monitoring techniques and collecting sick or injured red squirrels.

They couldn’t do all of this work without the local volunteer group, (Red Alert – Lancashire and Merseyside), the LWT volunteers and the support of the local communities, who are all essential to the success of the project. Peter Muldoon and Phil Hunter who are the Chair and Treasurer of Red Alert are pictured with Bill Esterson MP and Rachel Cripps

You can find more information about the work of Lancashire Wildlife Trust on our website, but if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The Wildlife Trust can be contacted on ‪07590 745 862‬ for sightings of red and grey squirrels. Alternatively email red.squirrel@lancswt.org.uk

Bill Esterson is pictured with Lancashire Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers at the Formby Dune Reserve