Green Shoots in Wales

Action under BASC’s biodiversity plan, Green Shoots, started in Wales in 2005 when BASC asked members living in North Wales to complete a survey of the wildlife on their shooting land. We used that information to work with members and partners to run conservation projects on both habitats and species which benefited shooting as well as conservation targets. Together we have achieved a great deal and gained a lot of support for shooting because of it.  You can read more detail about these projects on the Green Shoots in North Wales pages.

With three years funding from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in 2015, Green Shoots was extended to cover the whole of Wales to focus on the control of invasive non-native species: mink control to benefit native water voles and other species, and grey squirrel control to benefit native red squirrels in key areas.  The support for our existing volunteer controllers and networks continues from the BASC Wales team.

In 2018 we have secured further funding from NRW to continue extend our invasive alien species work in Wales until December 2019. The project, called Resilience for Natives, continues BASC conservation work based on trusted partnerships and collaborations with partners including the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and Bangor University. The project will work with local people, including BASC members, to establish networks of volunteers to monitor and remove mink in four key areas for water vole in Ceredigion and one in Gwynedd adjacent to the Menai Straights. The project will also improve the habitat for water vole in key locations and has funding allocated for this to help meet the costs of such works. The project will also continue our support for the Mid-Wales Red Squirrel Project by further developing the grey squirrel control network around the Tywi Forest area. Research is an important aspect of the project with study into mink diet and the prevalence of water vole within it being one topic as well assessing the effectiveness of using volunteer surveys to assess the level of tree bark damage from grey squirrels

Contribute to Conservation

BASC Wales is seeking your support in identifying the diversity of conservation work undertaken by shoots in Wales.

We have a number of conservation projects in Wales as a result of our Green Shoots programme but in order to get a fuller picture to present to the Cross Party Group for Shooting and Conservation we need your help to identify the kind of conservation projects you have been or are currently involved in.

Please click here to complete the short questionnaire

Our native red squirrels need active protection from grey squirrels if the species is going to survive. Control of greys is important because they carry the squirrel Parapox virus which leaves them unaffected but is fatal to red squirrels. Greys also out-compete reds for food and, when in high densities, prevent young reds from breeding and establishing territories. Grey squirrels also eat birds’ eggs and cause damage to woodlands and pheasant feeders, so their control has many benefits.

By the end of 2014 we were working with Natural Resources Wales, the Red Squirrels Trust Wales and the Mammals In a Sustainable Environment project to encourage people to trap and dispatch grey squirrels, particularly concentrating on the areas surrounding the larger known populations of red squirrels on Anglesey, in Gwynedd near Bangor, in the Cynwyd/Corwen area and the Clocaenog forest.

In this new phase of funding we will continue to work with the mid Wales Red Squirrel Project to trap greys in and around the Tywi Forest. This will bolster the good work being done by the project by increasing both the number of volunteers to protecting the existing population of reds and increasing the area being trapped for grey squirrels.


The attached map shows the area where we need volunteers to help. If you have access to land in these areas please contact us.

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Grey Squirrel Control Leaflet

Grey squirrel control with live capture traps

Water voles have two main requirements: suitable habitat and protection from predation by the American mink. This project tackles both requirements but starts with mink control as mink can devastate water vole colonies even if the habitat is perfect.

Water voleBy the end of 2014 we had more than 100 rafts and traps being used by BASC members, fishermen and conservation partners across North Wales. This network of volunteers is culling more than 100 mink per year and following habitat management advice to help water voles.Mink (9)

This success meant we extended this network to areas identified in the Wales Water Vole Strategy where there were still water voles that needed protection from mink.  The monitoring and controlling work continues under the Resilience for Natives project in four key areas for water vole in Ceredigion and one in Gwynedd adjacent to the Menai Straights if you have access to waterways within them then please contact us.

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We can offer training in trapping and loan rafts and traps. Contact Hamish Profit or Derek Williams for mink control in North and mid Wales, and Meurig Rees for mink control in south Wales. Alternatively you can register your interest by using the online form below. (You can register for both grey squirrel control and mink control if you wish.)




Mink control leaflet

Mink Control - Guidance from BASC to promote best practice

Related pages

Green Shoots in the South East

Green Shoots in the South East Welcome to the South East region’s Green Shoots webpages. BASC has long standing Green Shoots programmes running throughout its

Green Shoots in Wales

Green Shoots in Wales Action under BASC’s biodiversity plan, Green Shoots, started in Wales in 2005 when BASC asked members living in North Wales to

Green Shoots Mapping

Green Shoots Mapping allows you to:

• help BASC promote the conservation benefits of shooting by providing your observations of wildlife

• mark up and save as many maps of your shooting land as you like which you can then print or email to colleagues

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