My cousin Pejk Malinowski sent me this poem last night by Robert Creeley. I am smitten.


The thing comes
of itself

(Look up
to see
the cat & the squirrel,
the one
torn, a red thing,
& the other
somehow immaculate)

– Robert Creeley

saviours vow to keep the red flag flying

Published Date: 09 November 2005 Click on thumbnail to view imageBy Grant Woodward

Click on thumbnail to view image
flame red coat was once a familiar sight in gardens and woodlands the length and breadth of Yorkshire.

The mischievous exploits of Squirrel Nutkin in the popular tales penned by Beatrix Potter won the red squirrel a place in the hearts of children everywhere.
However, the species
now teeters on the brink of extinction – pushed there by a ruthless transatlantic rival.

The American grey squirrel has over the years muscled in on its traditional food supplies to the point where greys currently out-number reds by 66 to one.
The invasion has raised the very real threat that the red squirrel will disappear for good.Thankfully, help is now at hand.
A far-reaching plan to save the red squirrel from
being wiped out was formally launched today by leading scientists and conservation experts.The North of England Red Squirrel Conservation Strategy aims to bring together wildlife groups as well as landowners, businesses, and the local community in the battle to ensure its survival.

The woodlands chosen will be managed to get the right mix of trees in terms of species and age structure to support healthy populations of red squirrels, but which are less well-suited to the higher energy demands of the larger grey. Targeted grey squirrel control will also take place in “buffer zones” surrounding the reserves to protect the red populations.
Landowners and farmers in the reserves and surrounding buffer zones have already announced their support for the plan.

They will be armed with all the expert advice, training and support needed for effective red squirrel conservation.
The Forestry Commission will also provide support in the form of cash grants to help private landowners with the cost of red squirrel conservation in and around the reserves.

(Full text  at the Yorkshire Evening Post)

forum comments on UK squirrel immigrants

Credit crunch dining
Rename grey squirrel meat as ‘spruce venison’ and watch it fly off the shelves at Waitrose.

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

Armstrong and Miller
Kill them. Kill them all.

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.

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.

Shooting them is never really going to solve your problem as killing a couple will just leave space for more to come in. Unless you want to spend all your time staking out the bird squirrel feeder and probably maiming a few whilst also scaring off your birds and destroying the feeder with pellets in the process then you probably need another solution.
I would have thought separate bird and squirrel feeders is your easiest solution, just make one lot an absolute pain to get to (covers/greased poles etc) and one really easy for them – even just on the ground.
Squirrels are pretty interesting to watch anyway and seeing as there’s absolutely no hope of ever getting rid of them from the UK you may as well embrace and enjoy them.

Apart from the colour , what is the difference between a red and grey squirrel. The red is supposed to be native to britain and given it’s low numbers is a protected species , yet grey ones are vermin . Why ?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Once there are too many red squirrels, they’ll be wondering if they have made the wrong choice, for red doesn’t really match the colour of the forests.
Why don’t people scream colour discrimination? Especially the animal rights.

and from Facebook:

Association for the Nullification of the Grey Squirrel Threat (ANGST)
Grey squirrels are VERMIN, overgrown tree rats. They out-compete our UK noble native Red Squirrels, and as harbingers of DISEASE they spread their fatal squirrel pox (squirrel parapoxvirus).
We are instigating a REVOLUTION, the rising up against the grey hordes of death.
We must garner support for the eradication of this pest, calling for the total ANIHILLATION of the species on our shores, never ceasing until the last rotting carcass of a grey squirrel is accounted for.
We need to instigate… (read more)
ANGST is a recent splinter group from the “I hate Grey Squirrels” group. It was an almost amicable parting of the ways. We felt that it was not pro-active enough, and not enough blood was being shed. We advocate research (modes of death, tracking devices, etc.), selective breeding of suitable hunting dogs, and the crushing of all dissenters. “I hate Grey Squirrels” was far too tame – it was just all talk.

a rap version of Wordsworth

I’ve been meaning to post this – I think maybe I was initially horrified but my standards are slipping.

was inspired to write Daffodils by the glorious flowers on the shores of Ullswater in the Lake District.

A Cumbria Tourism spokesman said: “Wordsworth’s Daffodils poem has remained unchanged for 200 years and to keep it alive for another two centuries we wanted to engage the YouTube generation who want modern music and amusing video footage on the web.

“Hopefully this will give them a reason to connect with a poem published in 1807 as well as with the works of Wordsworth and the stunning landscape of the Lake District. It’s all a bit of fun really.”

David Wilson of the Wordsworth Trust, said: “Wordsworth’s poem is about the mind’s growing awareness over time of the deepening value of an experience, in this case observing the dancing daffodils.

It is awful– so UK peeps, you’ve lost it.  Forget all you squirrel purists:

REd vs Grey update

Local papers in Northumberland report today that

Thousands of culled grey squirrels later, the invader’s advance into remaining red squirrel territory is still relentless.

CHILLING killing figures emerge from a new study of the effectiveness of measures in the North of England to halt the spread of the grey squirrel and the decline of the native red.

Between February 2007 and September last year, more than 20,000 greys were killed by the Red Squirrel Protection Partnership, chaired by Lord Redesdale.

But the study says that sightings of greys in the North East have increased rather than decreased, suggesting that the culling of greys has not stopped their advance in what is the final English stronghold of the red squirrel.

Journal Live, Sept 26 2009

Taxidemried UK grey can be yours for £94.99 + P&P £15.00 (UK), £40.00 (Worldwide)
Taxidermied UK Grey can be yours for £94.99 + P&P £15.00 (UK), £40.00 (Worldwide)