Ponteland Red Squirrels

Road Casualties

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From 2008 to 2010, 60 red squirrels were killed on the roads in and around Darras Hall and Ponteland. It is almost certain that there will have been others that have not been reported to us.

Many of these deaths will have been caused by careless driving and therefore could have been avoided. Such deaths have a big impact on the population of our red squirrels.


The SOS (part of Northumberland Wildlife Trust) database contains hundreds of red squirrel road deaths. Whilst the exact number of casualties is unknown, it is clear that this figure represents only a small proportion of the squirrels killed on our roads. This means that out of a shrinking population hundreds of red squirrels are also being killed needlessly on roads.

HOW CAN YOU HELP TO PREVENT ROAD KILL?

Much can be done to stop red squirrels becoming road casualties and it is an area where local people (that means you!) can make a difference:

  • SLOW DOWN when driving through Ponteland, Darras Hall and rural (especially wooded) areas. In most cases, a couple of minutes on your journey time will make no difference to you, but it could make all the difference to wildlife.
  • KEEP TO THE 30 MPH SPEED LIMIT on all the roads through Darras Hall and Ponteland. Red squirrels don't have any road sense, so if you see one on a fence or the pavement, slow down and be aware that it may jump into the road!
  • Report any red squirrel road casualties to Ponteland Red Squirrels. Be as accurate as possible giving an address or grid reference of where you saw the squirrel. Dead red squirrels should be sent off for a post mortem - please contact us for details

Red squirrels are by no means the only creatures to fall victim to cars; the Mammal Society estimates that : 50,000 badgers, 100,000 foxes and 10 million birds die every year on Britain's roads. In other words, it is important to be aware of wildlife on the roads wherever you are.