BASC NI launches new grey squirrel courses

BASC is now offering its first grey squirrel control courses in Northern Ireland.

As part of its Green Shoots conservation project, BASC will train members in the control and humane dispatch of grey squirrels. Courses will outline trapping and dispatch methods and cover wildlife legislation specific to Northern Ireland.

BASC NI country officer Jonny Orr said: “Grey squirrel control forms part of BASC’s Green Shoots project and we are supported by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), who have given our course their seal of approval.

“This course gives the knowledge and skills to control grey squirrels humanely and within the law. We will work collaboratively with members and partner organisations to develop a coordinated approach to grey squirrel control.

“When members have completed the training course, they will be able to take advantage of BASC’s grey squirrel trap loan scheme.”

Oliver McCullough, a member of BASC council and chair of the BASC NI committee, said: “There has been a need for some time to implement a plan to control the invasive, non-native grey squirrel.

“Grey squirrels are a major contributing factor in the decline of the native red squirrel population. Such is the decline in their numbers, the red is now classed as an endangered species.

“There has been much talk of grey squirrel control recently, but what we actually need is members on the ground proactively trapping grey squirrels. I very much welcome the introduction of the BASC NI squirrel trap loan scheme.”

BASC’s first Northern Ireland Squirrel Control Course will be held on 2nd July 2017 in Country Antrim. Click here for more details or contact BASC’s NI office on 02892 605050.

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