back to article Scotland to battle grey squirrel invaders

Scotland's native red squirrel population is to benefit from a £1.3m investment aimed at preventing it falling to the invading forces of its North American grey cousin. According to the BBC, the country boasts around 121,000 reds - representing 75 per cent of the UK total. The species is under increaing pressure from the …


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  1. Bruno Girin
    Thumb Up

    Yum: roasted grey squirrel!

    Apparently, grey squirrel has a very flavourful meat. I'm sure there's a business opportunity for some restaurants north of the border.

  2. Ben Naylor

    The solution is quite simple.....

    Send in Amy Hardwood!



  3. moylan

    to quote blackadder

    viscious little bastards!

  4. sig
    Thumb Up

    Save the Gingers

    Squirrels today, humans tomorrow.

  5. Mike Richards

    Credit crunch dining

    Rename grey squirrel meat as 'spruce venison' and watch it fly off the shelves at Waitrose.

  6. lansalot


    Does that mean we're allowed to take a pop at them if we see one ?

    <billy-connolly-stylee> whaur's ma bloody gun?? </billy-connolly-stylee>

    I dunno. Bloody immigrants - come over here, climb our trees, grab our nuts....

  7. Faye Gibbins

    Squirrel Food

    The two greys that regularly dig up my runner bean seeds will instead be filling me up once I get my new squirrel trap delivered. My Dad has some good recipes for squirrel including squirrel in beer pie.

  8. Joe K
    Thumb Down


    I've never understood this, who the hell cares what colour they are, a squirrels a squirrel, they all taste the same.

  9. jonathan keith

    Armstrong and Miller

    Kill them. Kill them all.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    None of the mamby pamby stuff....

    Grey squirrels are non-indigenous vermin that also eat bird eggs and dig up plants to eat the roots, and gardeners often have their entire crops of home grown veg lost in the spring when the grey squiels eat the shoots.

    Grey squirrels should be terminated on sight, trapped, poisoned and hunted to extinction in the UK. People caught feeding them should be prosecuted. They have no place here, even though some people find them cute.

  11. Steve


    The Film CaddyShack and that gopher spring to mind

  12. Christian Briddon
    Thumb Up

    @Faye Gibbins

    I had a family of squirrels living in my roof. I bought a couple of traps and cought 6 of them in a week. They are REALLY stupid and easy to catch.

    Enjoy your meal. :-)

  13. Pete James

    Tree huggers

    The problem here has been the belief that the grey squirrel is somehow all cute and cuddly. They're anything but. But it's good to see that someone in power has realised the need to at least control - if not eradicate - the grey squirrel population. Foxes and rabbits next I hope.

  14. Pete

    They didn't ask to come here

    Can't we inject them with a growth-retarding hormone, dye their fur red and retrain them all as red squirrels? I'm sure they could make valuable members of the countryside community, given some state aid.

  15. Dr O'Pfickse-Dwydth
    IT Angle

    Risking an ODFO

    What the IT angle?

  16. Wize

    RE: Yum: roasted grey squirrel!

    If its "North of the Border", or Scotland as some might say, shouldn't it be deep fried?

    And to those that say colour doesn't matter, apparently the red ones are quite bitter.

  17. Ferry Boat

    Be careful out there

    Red squirrels are not indigenous to the British Isles. All the squirrel family originally came from north America. At least that's what my 'Boy's Book of Squirrel Evolution' says.

    Watch out when you catch squirrels in the winter because the red ones have a grey winter coat. You might get the wrong flavour.

  18. John Hawkins
    Thumb Up

    Heat up the barbie.

    Shoot, gut, skin, let hang for a few days, salt + pepper + olive oil and on the barbie* with them. I guess you could make mittens or hats out of the skins if you wanted; someone's bound to get wound up over a squirrel skin hat.

    * As in barbecue; not the small plastic sheila.

  19. Gordon Grant

    Re CaddyShack

    Yeah was just thinking that as well, them pesky varments (as Yosamite Sam would say)....

    Right I'm going to start up a "Tufty's Fight Club" teach those red's how to box, box the ears of them grey's and kick them out...

  20. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Risking an ODFO

    Gimme an O!

    Gimme a D!

    Gimme an F!

    Gimme an O!



  21. Callum

    squirrel racism!!

    And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the Scottish dream.

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up from the trees and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all squirrels are created equal."

    I have a dream that one day on the Oaks of Glasgow, the sons of reds and the sons of greys will be able to sit down together at the branch of brotherhood.

    I have a dream that one day even in Falkirk, a city sweltering with the cold of injustice, freezing with the ice of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of non-salted peanuts and washing lines.

    I have a dream that my four little squirrels will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their fur but by the content of their character.

    I have a dream today!

  22. nagyeger

    "To promote the project to the public"

    Oh well. I can just see the budget now.... that's 1.29 million for the advertising campaign, £9000 for Jamie Oliver's appearance fees, another nine hundred quid for the travel expenses, 100 quid for the BBQ, ketchup, olives, etc. and let's hope someone can lend us a shotgun or two when we get there to do some serious defending, eh?

  23. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Anonymous Coward

    Brunswick stew

    A good American cookbook should have a recipe for Brunswick stew. Some of the wimpy ones will have chicken in place of squirrel, it is true.

  24. Tim

    @ Pete James

    May I point out that they are kind of cute and cuddly, indeed I have a stuffed one on the desk near my PC. Well it's cuter than a lettuce, or most veggies. Come to think of it, are there any cute veggies?

    Howcome nobody has mentioned the danger that squirrels represent (I bet the Daily Mail has)... for instance if you are standing under a tree trying to shoot them (which believe me is not at all easy), when finally they get in the way of a small hail of lead that you were aiming in their general direction, they descend at a quite alarming rate and could probly cause a nasty injury, or at least a headache, if you didn't step aside smartish.

    Yep, foxes then rabbits next, then cats after that.


  25. robbie


    Huh? Even searching the Reg's own memory banks doesn't find "ODFO". Let me guess...

    Order dead forest organisms; only deep fry otters: over-done food observations. Oh dear, footballing oligarchs?

    Oh damn, Fido's out...

  26. dan russell

    Get the barbecue on

    Squirrel meat, get it on the shelves, harvest the little tree rats. No irony, let's make full use of our natural resources.

  27. John Mackenzie
    Thumb Up

    RE Re Yum: roasted grey squirrel!

    RE: Yum: roasted grey squirrel!

    By Wize Posted Tuesday 10th February 2009 12:39 GMT

    <<If its "North of the Border", or Scotland as some might say, shouldn't it be deep fried?

    And to those that say colour doesn't matter, apparently the red ones are quite bitter.>>

    Bitter? They are actually fecking L I V I D !

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Red Squirrel Protection Partnership

    The Red Squirrel Protection Partnership ( works in Northumberland to protect Red Squirrels.

    They do it by killing the Greys.

    When asked about the name, they said people weren't as sympathetic to the Grey Squirrel Annihilation League so they were less likely to get funding.

    Most organizations that purport to protect the Red Squirrel won't have anything to do with ones that cull Grey Squirrels, yet this is the only method of conserving the Red Squirrel that has been shown to work.

  29. Tim

    @ Robbie

    Check the comments to this article

    hopefully, she doesn't shoot messengers

  30. Daniel

    We're already shooting the things in Northumberland

    Have been for a year, now. It's no big deal. Just something more for people to have to look out for, and shoot. You can buy the meat in game dealers, and yes it's okay - although there's not a lot on them. pheasant is much better value for money.

  31. Andy Livingstone

    Guess What - you got it wrong

    Bad news, this was an apocryphal tale put out by the SNP.

    Squirrels will be allowed to pass freely over the border regardless of race, creed, or colour.

    However, people without kilts and beards ( hard luck ladies) will be less humanely treated.

    Remember to exchange all English notes and buy beards and kilts well before reaching the border,please.

    Note that pound coins are not accepted currency in Scotland. In some parts they are still referred to as Maggies. Because they are thick, brassy, and think they are sovereigns.

    The start date of April? Would that be the first?

  32. Martin Silver badge

    Lateral thinking

    Would it not be cheaper to just dye the grey squirrels red?

  33. Dr O'Pfickse-Dwydth
    Thumb Up

    @ Sarah Bee - Re: Risking an ODFO

    Kisses back, dear sweet girl.

  34. Peyton

    So THATS what it stands for

    Someone used ODFO in a comment the other day and I was left scratching my head. Neither acronymfinder nor urbandictionary were of any use. But with today's IT? + Sarah Bee angle, all the pieces have fallen into place for me. Ta very much.

  35. vic denwood
    Black Helicopters

    The Blacks are coming!

    Where I live near the Bedfordshire/Cambridge border there is a growing enclave of Black Squirrels. It seems that Blacks & Greys can cohabit but the result is always black progeny. So the greys are under threat by progressive blacking. The black squirrels are deliberately released CIA genetically modified animals designed to look cute in an urban environment, and are used for stealth surveillance purposes

  36. An ominous cow herd

    "Ron McDonald"?

    I'm sure that squirrelburgers are on the menu, then!


  37. Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, but..

    If you get rid of the Grey Squirlys, you just make room for the Black Squirlys...

    Am I allowed to say "Black Squirlys", or is they Effnik?

  38. Anonymous Coward

    @john hawkins

    barbie* with them.

    I'm glad you had the "*" in there...i was thinking extreme pr0n in the making.

    Seriously; if they can't control their beavers, what makes you think they can control the power station ruining little grey beggars?

    @Sarah - For shame...going for the low-haning fruit like that. :-)

  39. robbie


    Thank you Tim, now I understand. One does feel onanistic.

    Where's Paris when she's needed?

  40. Danny Silver badge

    Canutes 'On the origin of the species'

    £1.3 million for a cull that is only delaying the extinction of the reds. That is probably money better spent trying to develop an inocculation if the virus is the reds problem, or relocation of the reds if it is an innate inability to compete.

  41. Onionman

    Do your bit; get a squirrel trap today

    When I was a kid, gardens used to be packed with birds. Now, almost none. It's coincided with the upsurge in the number of greys (amply fed by the idiots who don't recognise them as vermin). They eat birds' eggs and young, having a massive impact. So I decided to do something.

    Bought one of these a few weeks before Christmas.

    Set it, baited with peanuts, eleven days in a row. Caught eleven greys, all now shot, skinned (a ****ing tough job, they are very attached to their skin) and sitting in the freezer awaiting the first barbeque of the season. Not seen a grey since Christmas, so I expect our songbird population to be much greater in the spring.

    My butcher has offered me £2 a grey, so I may go into business.

  42. Colin

    controlling them ..

    ... will involve killing them. heh heh - yep, that should do it !

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