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National Park red squirrels go on TV

Grassington, 21 April, 2009.

Red squirrels living in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park are set to be on air on Thursday – on the BBC1 programme The One Show.

A film crew spent a day watching the endangered species at a sanctuary created in woodland at Snaizeholme near Hawes by landowner Hugh Kemp. Last year Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) staff devised a 10-mile red squirrel trail from Hawes to a special viewing area in the woodland.

One Show presenter Mike Dilger and the crew interviewed Mr Kemp and Ian Court, the YDNPA’s Wildlife Conservation Officer, and filmed the squirrels at the viewing point were they also learned how Authority staff and Dales Volunteers carry out surveys to find out about their distribution in the area.

Red squirrels are under threat from grey squirrels that were originally introduced into England from North America in the late 1880s and are now widespread.  

The main threat comes from the Squirrelpox virus the greys can carry. They are immune to it but it is fatal to the reds.  

Ian said: “It’s good that the red squirrels are receiving national attention like this because it helps to create awareness of the problems they face from their bigger cousins.”

The programme is due to be screened at 7pm on 23 April.

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