Working with Natural England, the park has reinstated 1.5 kilometres of native species hedgerow and we are five years into the restoration of four hectares of upland hay meadows – where the three Yaks have played an important part in the restoration! Working towards our Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, the park has planted over 5,000 hedgerow plants and 1,000’s native tree species.
We support the work of North Lakes Red Squirrel Ranger, both on our estate and in the wider community. Red squirrels have been found in England since the end of the last Ice Age and are part of our native fauna. The non-native grey squirrel was introduced to England in the late 1870s from America and is the primary cause of decline of the red squirrel. It does so by out-competing red squirrels for food in deciduous and mixed woodlands and transmitting a virus, the squirrel poxvirus, that is lethal to red squirrels.
If you are walking in woods on the estate keep your eyes peeled for both red and grey squirrels. It is quite easy to tell them apart – but don’t rely on the coat colour. The reds are considerably smaller and often have long tufts to their ears. Greys always have small, rounded ears and have white hairs along the edge of the tail, giving the tail a halo.
If you see a squirrel, please inform North Lakes Red Squirrel Ranger via facebook. Your sightings are very valuable in monitoring the up-to-date locations of red squirrels and the spread of grey squirrels.