Kilnsey Park Estate has become the latest business in the Yorkshire Dales National Park to sponsor a feeder set up at a special red squirrel viewpoint at Snaizeholme, near Hawes.
The viewing area lies in the heart of the Widdale Red Squirrel Reserve and was created by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and the local landowner to allow people to watch the animals as they feed in their natural habitat.
Kathryn Storey, the National Park Authority’s Tourism Officer, said: “Since we launched the sponsorship project last December we have had a fantastic response from local entrepreneurs who want to help preserve this endangered species.
“All it takes is a £50 donation, which pays for food for a month. In return, the sponsors are listed on our website at http://www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/squirrel-trail and they receive a certificate to display in their businesses.
“National Red Squirrel week runs from September 28 to October 4 and we are hoping it will capture people’s interest enough that they will want to visit the viewing area and see these fantastic creatures in the wild up close.”
Kilnsey Park Estate managing partner Jamie Roberts said: “We’re delighted to sponsor the feeder at the viewpoint because we have been a long-time supporter of red squirrels.
“Visitors have been able to see and learn about red squirrels as part of Kilnsey Park Estate’s captive red squirrel breeding programme, which ensures that the gene pool of red squirrels is as large as possible, hopefully ensuring that they will never become extinct.
“Red squirrels from the project have already been reintroduced to places where they will be safe from greys, including islands off mainland Britain.