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A National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £99,899.80, with a further supporting grant from the Heritage Emergency Fund of £10,000 will be used to connect the local community with the area’s natural heritage through “Reclaiming Reds”, a red squirrel conservation project.
Made possible with money raised by National Lottery players, this two-year project will focus on engaging the community with red squirrel conservation, delivering an extensive programme of events and workshops which will allow people to contribute to the project’s protection of this iconic British species.
The red squirrel is threatened more than ever in Great Britain, with ever decreasing sightings in Knowsley and the surrounding areas, primarily because of the invasive grey squirrel population. Grey squirrels out-compete native reds for food and space, and harbour diseases such as squirrel pox which can devastate red squirrel populations.
Volunteer positions and traineeships will also be available for those looking to gain valuable skills and experience in the areas of practical conservation, public engagement, research, and administration.
Commenting on the award, Naomi Davies, Research and Conservation Officer for Knowsley Safari Foundation said:
“We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and we are confident that this community-focussed project will allow us to minimise the damage that’s already been done, and set Knowsley Estate and the surrounding areas up as a place where red squirrels thrive.”
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