New red squirrel rubbings trail for Fife
Monday, November 11, 2013
Members of the local community helped to create a red squirrel rubbings trail installed in Falkland Estate on Friday 8th November. The work was a partnership between Fife Coast & Countryside Trust and the Centre for Stewardship, Falkland.
Over 45 individuals from Falkland Primary School and volunteers from the Centre for Stewardship attended workshops ran by artist Kate Ive. Not only did the participants get to grips with their creative side but they also learnt about the plight of the red squirrel in Fife.
Kate said: “I am delighted to have been involved in the project. The kids really embraced the themes and as a result produced wonderful drawings. I hope the local community enjoy exploring the trail, discovering the artworks and learning about the life of the red squirrels.”
To tell the story of the red squirrel, six drawings from the workshops were made into plaques now displayed on the trail. Visitors equipped with paper and pencil can make interesting rubbings of the plaques. The trail follows a new accessible path loop through the woods between Falkland cricket pitch and the Pillars of Hercules, with several resting places along the way. Interpretation panels with maps will be installed early next year, and online resources are being developed with more information about the squirrel story.
The trail is part of the Fife Red Squirrel Project (2011-2014) co-ordinated by Sophie Eastwood, Red Squirrel Project Officer for Fife Coast & Countryside Trust. It is supported by the Fife Environment Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund and is also being part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community LEADER in Fife Programme 2007-2013.
Sophie said: “Although red squirrels are still widespread across Fife, the low numbers seen around Falkland recently are a real concern. It is really important for people to understand why the red squirrel is disappearing from some areas and what we can do to help.”
The main threat to the red squirrel is from introduced grey squirrels which compete for food and spread the fatal squirrel pox virus, while remaining unaffected by it themselves.
To find out more about the Fife Red Squirrel Project contact firstname.lastname@example.org