RED squirrels are on the comeback trail in Ceredigion.

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales says evidence from red squirrel hairs has provided positive news about the condition of these iconic creatures in mid Wales.

After collecting and analysing samples from one of the Mid Wales Red Squirrel Project’s (MWRSP) squirrel feeding stations, it has found a unique DNA sequence that hasn’t been found anywhere else in the world.

The Wildlife Trust’s red squirrel officer Becky Hulme works with a team of dedicated volunteers to track down and monitor red squirrels in mid Wales.

“The work our team are doing to help maintain and improve the habitat for red squirrels in mid Wales is incredibly important,” said Becky.

“This evidence also tells us that the red squirrels in mid Wales have a high level of genetic diversity. This means that our conservation work and efforts are more likely to be successful because having a diverse gene pool helps populations to adapt to changing environments.

“With more variation, it is more likely that some red squirrels in mid Wales will have variations in their genes which are suited to the environment. These individuals are also more likely to survive and produce kits (baby squirrels) that will also have these beneficial genes. All music to the ears of the project staff and volunteers!

“Our fingers are crossed that we have some new kits in mid Wales come spring next year.”

However, the MWRSP is coming to the end of its five-year funding stream, which means that work to help the red squirrels in mid Wales may stop if it cannot find the funds to continue.

To continue to stage two of the project, The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales needs to raise £110,000 to fund work on the ground over the next two years.

“This will ensure that we can continue to maintain and enhance habitats for red squirrels, but also expand our team to restore some key areas that could be improved to make them more suitable for red squirrels,” added Becky.

“We’re also keen to investigate and develop innovative monitoring techniques to track red squirrels which will provide useful information to feed into future forest management plans.”

For further information, to volunteer or donate, email Becky at or contact the Wildlife Trust on 01656 724100.