The Green Shoots programme will aim to create and support a network of people working together to monitor and control mink and grey squirrel populations. BASC members, farmers and volunteers will try to manage the invasive species which pose a threat to the water vole and red squirrel. Mink have been devastating the water vole populations and the grey squirrel carries a virus deadly to red squirrels. The control of Invasive Non-native Species (INNS) such as mink and grey squirrel is a priority for NRW.
Volunteers will target three main areas in Wales where red squirrels are known to be present: Anglesey, Clocaenog Forest and around the Tywi Forest. Grey squirrel control in these areas will be paramount to the conservation efforts. Similarly, areas of inadequate mink control (such as the River Dulas near Llandudno, around Beddgelert and inland from Aberystwyth in the North, and Pendine, Llanelli and Magor Marsh in the South) will be top of the list for conservation action.
Nick Thomas of Natural Resources Wales said: “NRW’s purpose is to ensure that the environment and natural resources are maintained, enhanced and used. We recognise that we cannot do this alone and there is enormous value in developing projects and partnerships. Green Shoots is an excellent conservation project which has focused the attention of BASC members on what they can do for endangered wildlife and habitats across North Wales. Both ourselves and BASC are committed to natural resource management and will work together to improve the rich biodiversity and natural heritage of Wales.”