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stewart borland
there can be only one
there can be only one

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From the newer feeder, and during a very short blink of sun from yesterday!
I love the fact that we have managed to bring Red Squirrels back to the area. It's such a tangible achievement, and so important to their survival.

The red squirrel is the UK's only native squirrel species, and was once a common sight across the UK. But for decades they’ve been in decline in the UK.
Today, red squirrels are sadly absent from most of the UK, affected by the spread of the introduced non-native grey squirrel.
Red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) live in coniferous forests and deciduous woods in Europe and northern Asia. Their range extends from the UK, Ireland and western Europe to Russia, Mongolia, and northwest China.

Numbers in the UK have fallen dramatically since grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) were introduced as an ornamental species in the 1870s.
Since then, the UK population of reds has dropped from around 3.5 million to between 120,000 to 160,000 individuals (according to different estimates). The population in England is thought to be as low as 15,000.
Population strongholds are Scotland, Northumberland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Lake District as well as on islands such as Brownsea.
If you want to see them in the wild, prime spotting times are morning and late afternoon because that’s when they’re most active.

The main cause behind their decline is the introduction of grey squirrels from America. There are three main reasons why greys are a threat.
Grey squirrels carry a disease, squirrel parapox virus, which does not appear to affect their health but often kills red squirrels.
Grey squirrels are more likely to eat green acorns, so will decimate the food source before reds get to them. Reds can’t digest mature acorns, so can only eat green acorns.
When red squirrels are put under pressure they will not breed as often.
Another huge factor in their decline is the loss of woodland over the last century, but road traffic and predators are all threats too.
Red squirrels are now absent from many parts of the UK

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Friday morning, and it's hive collection (again) Strath of Appin Primary School this time - I think I need a bigger cabin, we're running out of space :o
Still another two to collect too and then we'll probably have a couple in Webster Honey's own design (We had 2 spare hives this year because two schools didn't want to take part??? Crazy I know when HT provide everything from the hive and paint, right down to the brushes!) I think our school kids designs beat Websters own ;)
Next stage is for Websters & HT to visit the schools and give talks to the kids and explain just how important bees are. Then it gets really exciting in summer when we hire buses and bring the children up to see their own hive and show them what goes on inside :D
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Rant alert...

Had a lovely walk round the lochan today - haven't been there for ages (well with the Reserve every day why would you)
Some nice snaps to share from my Mate 9 but the blood pressure was through the roof.

Dog owners - don't let your dog crap all over the place. I get that you're hoping the constant rain is going to wash it away before some poor young child touches it -

"A toddler could lose her eye because of a rare infection she caught after falling in dog mess.
Amiee Langdon, who turns two next week, put her hand in it as she tumbled in a public park, then wiped her left eye.
Her mother Suzanne, a nurse, quickly cleaned her eye and took her home where she rinsed it with warm water.
But it became purple and inflamed and hospital tests showed she had a potentially deadly infection that could spread to her brain."

If you can't clean up after it - don't have one!

And what's with the total numpties who go to the trouble of taking a poo bag with them, and then drop it on the path - there are poo bins all round the Lochan footpaths???? One bright yellow one and three black ones today!!

Rant over.
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I guess we didn't get back to refill it in time! Don't worry normal service has since been resumed, but what's really encouraging, and exciting for our visitors, that it's getting more and more common to actually see the elusive reds dashing about the Reserve :)

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“Destroying nature is destroying life”

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Too lovely a day not to take some photos! Here's a few reasons to visit if you haven't been already. You have? Well here's a few reasons to return ;)
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Some shots from the Reserve this morning...
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Guess what we've just been graded as?? Goodbye 3 stars hello FOUR :D
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