redsquirrel_sign2.jpgWhile I was driving between Kirkby Lonsdale and Sedbergh a red squirrel bobbed across the road in front of me, leapt onto the wall, gave me an old-fashioned look and scampered off. It was the first red I’d seen since a squashed one on the road near Kilnsey, Wharfedale, in late spring… but two within six months accounts for more than I’d seen in many years in the dales. Maybe this is coincidence but I wondered if I really was witnessing an increase in the number of Yorkshire reds. A spokesman from the National Park authority tells me sightings within the park are on the up. And now, along with land manager Hugh Kemp, the authority has devised a ten-mile trail starting from Hawes to Snaizeholme Wood in Widdale to view the animals (more of this in a future Dalesman). Walkers and residents have also reported further sightings in Garsdale and Mallerstang in the north-western area of the park. This is great news and now the park and landowners must ensure that the correct habitat is maintained and free from greys.

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