Red Squirrel Detectives- Ballykinlar Playgroup and The Big Surprise

Inspiring children and young people to learn more about native red squirrels and their environment is hugely important to the group.


We absolutely love seeing young faces light up at the sight of a pair of red tufty ears and a bushy tail.


Young squirrel fans become dedicated conservationists and help secure our Red Squirrels future so we are proud to share their stories and experiences here. 

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Squirrel Pox in Tollymore

We are sorry to report that Squirrel Pox Virus SQPV has once again returned to the forest five years after the initial outbreak in 2011.


A dead red squirrel was found by a member of the public and brought to members of TRSG. Feeders were immediately removed and the squirrel was sent for scientific investigation and sadly pox was the confirmed cause of death.
We would ask that members of the public help us at TRSG by either removing or cleaning, once daily, garden feeders in red squirrel areas especially those adjacent to the park. We would also ask that anyone spotting a sick or dead red report it to the rangers hut, one of the forestry staff, NIEA or ourselves With your help and with that of our colleagues at Forest Service DARDNI and NIEA we will prevent spread and  keep the reds healthy. We continue to monitor the situation closely.


UPDATE: 26/04/2016 so far the disease has stayed within one area of the forest and has claimed only a handful of lives. We remain vigilant and continue to ask for public support but we are hopeful that the outbreak will burn itself out and not prove to be devastating for the red squirrel population.