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Grey Squirrels

Volume 655: debated on Thursday 8 March 1962

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to check the continuing increase in the number of grey squirrels since the bonus scheme for tails ended; and what conclusion was reached by the Forestry Commission as a result of this assignment of an additional officer to study this problem in 1959.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
(Mr. W. M. F. Vane)

I have nothing to add to the full Answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Leominster (Mr. Clive Bossom) on 8th December, 1961. The conclusions in that Answer were based on the studies of the officer employed by the Forestry Commission on grey squirrel research.

Is my hon. Frend aware that this is becoming a major problem in hardwood plantations? It is all very fine for the Forestry Commission, which is planting almost entirely soft woods, but this is becoming such a severe problem that it is almost getting to the stage of owners having to plant hardwoods for these grey squirrels to eat.

I understand the severity of the problem in certain areas, and it is for this reason that the Timber Growers' Organisation and the Forestry Commission are making a special effort this year.