Squirrel Appreciation Day (today, Tuesday 21 January) is the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on some very special visitors to Harden Quarry in Northumberland.
The team at the site has joined forces with Coquetdale Squirrel Group and Red Squirrels Northern England to help protect and conserve the rare red squirrels that visit the quarry, one of the few places in England where red squirrels can still be found.
Gareth Williams, quarry manager at Harden said: “We are extremely lucky to have red squirrels regularly visit the site. The team at the quarry has set up a feeding station and has been working to monitor the number of visitors we get.”
“In fact, two Tarmac employees have been trained as official Red Squirrel Wardens and work together to monitor their activities.”
The unusual role of squirrel warden involves monitoring and recording the squirrels that visit over a two week period on a quarterly basis using motion capture cameras. Once the monitoring period is over cameras are removed, images are downloaded and a reporting is a form completed.
Dave Robinson of Coquetdale Squirrel Group said: “Harden Quarry and the neighbouring village of Biddlestone remain a great place to chance upon red squirrels. We are grateful for the work Tarmac does to help us capture this data.”
Many of Tarmac’s sites are havens for wildlife, with a variety of animals, birds, insects and reptiles making them their home.
Image Credit: Red squirrel at the feeding station at Harden Quarry