About Us

“The Caldew Squirrel Initiative” (CSI) is a volunteer run charitable association

Formed in March 2022 to support red squirrel conservation across an area of approximately 40 square miles surrounding the River Caldew and the villages of Hesket Newmarket, Caldbeck, Sebergham, Welton and Dalston in Cumbria.

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Red Squirrel Extinction Risk

The UK red squirrel population is at serious risk of extinction mainly due to the constant threat from grey squirrel incursion. The non-native grey squirrels out compete the reds for food, shelter and in breeding terms and also carry a virus which is lethal to reds if the two species come into contact with each other. Greys are also responsible for extensive forestry damage through bark stripping.

Our Aims

Through a team of dedicated volunteers working in collaboration with local landowners and communities, CSI aims to preserve and enhance the native red squirrel population and their natural habitat via an all year round conservation programme of camera monitoring, supplementary feeding, recorded sightings and grey squirrel control.

This is in addition to raising awareness and promoting red squirrel conservation within the wider community and in support of similar efforts regionally and nationally.

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Conservation Work

The conservation work is undertaken by a small group of field volunteers who have personal access permission from local landowners, or by the landowners themselves working on their own property. The hard work of these individuals over many years has been and remains vital to ensuring the local red squirrel population can survive and grow further.

The field volunteers are assisted by a team of Trustees, committee members, spotters, fundraisers, corporate sponsors, personal donors and individual supporters from across the local community.

Red Squirrel Groups

CSI is one of a number of voluntary red squirrel groups that form a network across Cumbria and is affiliated to Red Squirrels Northern England (RSNE).

RSNE is a project partnership between the Northern Wildlife Trusts, Forestry Commission, Red Squirrel Survival Trust and Natural England that is working to protect red squirrels across Cumbria, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Lancashire, Merseyside, Tyne & Wear and County Durham, where small numbers of reds can still be found in the wild.

All the information gathered by CSI from camera monitoring, site visits, grey control or public sightings is shared with RSNE to assist their cause.

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Please contact us if you have seen a Red Squirrel

  • Have you seen a Red or Grey Squirrel?
  • Where was the sighting?
  • When was the sighting?
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Help Save Red Squirrels

The local Red Squirrel population is fighting hard against the constant threat from Grey Squirrels and we really need your help.

You can help save red squirrels by contacting The Caldew Squirrel Initiative to :

  • Report any red or grey squirrels you see in the area.
  • Offer a donation.
  • Help as a volunteer.
  • Consent for field volunteers to access your woodland.


The local red squirrel population is fighting hard against the constant threat from grey squirrels and we really need your help.

Early intervention is key to helping us maintain the progress we have made so far so please consider a donation to support what we do.
Your gift will help continue our vital conservation work and preserve red squirrels in our local community for future generations.

You can donate to The Caldew Squirrel Initiative by visiting www.justgiving.com/caldewsquirrels


Donate to The Caldew Squirrel Initiative

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Contact Us

Don’t hesitate to ask us something. Email us directly caldewsquirrels@gmail.com or call us at 07542 191 865

07542 191 865