Want to give red squirrels a helping hand in your area? Get involved with your local Red Squirrel Group. There are 13 groups in Northern Ireland who are working to protect reds through supplementary feeding, raising awareness of their plight, and by removing invasive non-native grey squirrels.
Glens Red Squirrel Group (Glens of Antrim)
The Glens RSG aims to protect and help maintain the population of red squirrels in the Glens of Antrim and to provide whatever assistance possible to enable them to thrive. To further these objectives, the group aims to raise public awareness of the plight of the red squirrel and to educate and encourage young people in the conservation of reds throughout the Glens of Antrim.
Ballygally RSG (Larne)
The Ballygally & District Biodiversity Group (BBG) was formed in 2015 by a group of volunteers with a wide ranging interest in conservation and in particular the protection of native species. Based in the Larne area, the BBG draws its membership from across Co. Antrim and endeavours to concentrate on species that are under severe threat. The Group have specialists in red squirrel conservation which involves grey squirrel control.
Ring of Gullion and Cooley RSG (South Armagh)
Ring of Gullion & Cooley RSG has been working in the area for several years conserving the healthy red squirrel and pine marten populations through constant monitoring of their sites. The group has a big impact in the area raising awareness and encouraging the reporting of sightings. They are also involved in some interesting pine marten research.
North West Red Squirrel Group (Derry/Londonderrry)
The North West RSG is actively helping conserve red squirrel strongholds within a 10 mile radius of the city- mainly Muff Glen, Eglinton and out along Letterkenny Road (City Cemetery) and Culmore Road, Drumahoe, Prehen and Enagh areas. This entails removing any grey squirrels present and supplementary feeding the reds. The group meets every weekend in Muff Glen and attends any environment based events and visits schools and youth groups to educate and hold fundraising events. A Red Squirrel Day is held in October each year at various venues.
Cityside Red Squirrel Group (Derry/Londonderry)
Cityside RSG was set up in Derry to work in partnership with the North West RSG, also situated in Derry but on opposite banks of the River Foyle. The Cityside group was set up after a new population of red squirrels appeared in the City Cemetery to help control greys in the area and allow this new red population to grow.
Donegal Red Squirrel Group (Donegal)
The only group established through Ulster Wildlife’s Red Squirrels United project in the Republic of Ireland and based in Co. Donegal. Donegal RSG volunteers are having a big impact in the area raising awareness of the importance of the red squirrel populations in the county and how to protect them. They are also keenly located to prevent the spread of invasive grey squirrels further west across the Inishowen Peninsula.
Tollymore Red Squirrel Group (Newcastle)
Tollymore RSG is the longest established RSG in Northern Ireland. The group works hard to monitor the red squirrel population in Tollymore Forest. They are having a big impact raising awareness of squirrel pox with locals and visitors to the park.
Rostrevor Red Squirrel Group (Rostrevor)
Rostrevor RSG was set up in the heart of the Mournes to protect red squirrels from grey squirrel incursions. This group is situated at the East flank of the Mournes, one of the most likely reincursion sites for grey squirrels. They work hard monitoring the area and are raising awareness in the community with events and calls for sightings, as well as creating a red squirrel walk in Kilbroney Forest.
Heart of Down Red Squirrel Group (Ballynahinch, Montalto Estate)
Heart of Downs RSG was set up in the Montalto Estate after one project volunteer began controlling greys in the area and a red returned. The site is now clear of invasive greys and a small red squirrel population has returned to the Estate along with some reintroductions from Belfast Zoo. The red squirrels in the Estate bred in 2019 for the first time in many years. Visitors were treated to sights of four young kits playing in trees throughout the summer.
North Down Red Squirrel and Pine Marten Group (Bangor)
This group was set up after a sighting of a red squirrel in Cairn Wood. Community appetite for grey squirrel control in the area is good and further red squirrels have been sighted since work began.
Ards Red Squirrel Group (Newtownards)
The Ards RSG is working to defend the red squirrels which inhabit the woodland from the National Trust’s Mount Stewart estate across to Millisle and south to Portaferry. The National Trust work with local landowners and volunteers to monitor and feed the red squirrels and remove any invasive greys that venture down the Peninsula.
Fermanagh Red Squirrel Group
The Fermanagh Red Squirrel Group (FRSG) was established to assist in the conservation of the red squirrel in County Fermanagh. The group was formed in the spring of 2011, facilitated by Fermanagh District Council through its Local Biodiversity Action Plan. It was established to assist in the conservation of the red squirrel in the county. Website: fermanaghredsquirrelgroup.com
West Tyrone Red Squirrel Group (Omagh)
West Tyrone RSG members are working hard around Omagh and across the district to protect our native red squirrel. They monitor the area for red and grey squirrels, as well as the pine marten, and carry out grey squirrel control to ensure the continuation of the red squirrel population in the area.