Who let the squirrels out?

I was reading about the plight of the red squirrels in the Natural Lore column of the Shooting Times (18th September 2008) and it appears that:

“The first authenticated record of the grey squirrel being released in England was by T. V. Brocklehurst in the grounds of Henbury Park, Cheshire, in 1876.”

Reading this made me think first of the Brocklehursts of Swythamley, and then of Captain Courtney Brocklehurst who at the start of the Second World War released the wallabies that lived for many years on the Roaches in the Peak District.  A quick search of Google Maps shows Henbury to be near Macclesfield and so there is a possability that T. V. Brocklehurst and Capt. Courtney Brocklehurst are related by blood and not just by introducing non native species to the British countryside.

While searching for more information on T. V. Brocklehurst I was dismayed to read on the Times website that stupid sentimentality has led to a change in the law meaning that after obtaining a license it is now possible to release trapped grey squirrels back into the wild. Until last year anyone catching a grey squirrel was required by law to kill it to help preserve the native red squirrel. Natural England the Governmental quango for nature said the change had been made to reflect public sentimentality.

The House of Lords with its usual wisdow called into question the wisdom of treating grey squirrels humanely. England has about two million grey squirrels and the figures given show that 13,337 were exterminated in Northumberland alone last year

Baroness Trumpington, a former Tory Agriculture Minister, asked why licences were issued at all.

“If you give licences for six squirrels, presuming that three are male and three are female, in no time at all you will have 60 squirrels. After that, my mind boggles,”

Baroness Butler-Sloss, until recently the most senior female judge in England and Wales, also advocated extermination.

Personally I think that all grey squirrels should be shot on sight, and if it is safe to do so anyone with a spade, air rifle or shot gun should show them no mercy.

“SG”, a contributor to The Trap Man website, described his technique for dispatching captured grey squirrels:

“Place jute bag round end of cage . . . pull door up and open – squirrel rushes into bag. Grabbed end of bag to assure its closure and trapped vermin. Try to hold it down and bang away with hammer.”

If anyone fancies ago at trapping a few grey squirrels then it is suggested that the best bait is peanut butter, nutty chocolate spread or dry cat food, but please have a spade to hand incase you are successful.

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1 comment so far

  1. Ian on

    Good article here:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7652154.stm

    Sad to report that we’ve only greys here in Stonnall, Staffs.


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