A Shanklin Squirrel, famous for halting the chopping down of a ‘dangerous’ tree, is set to get a new home.
As reported by Isle of Wight Radio, the red rascal has so far refused to budge from the branch of a large wild cherry that is hanging over a popular footpath in the town.
As a result, the path at Chine Hollow – between Popham Road and the Old Village – has had to remain closed since last year.
Island Roads says the tree needs removing – but not before the squirrel, which it believes could be pregnant, is rehomed.
Subsequently, the Island firm’s gone from fixing roads to fixing up abodes.
After consulting with Natural England, the company’s now installed a ‘swanky’ new purpose-built squirrel home in a neighbouring tree.
The hope is the squirrel will go nuts for her new waterproof drey, which has been provided by the Wight Squirrel Project and installed this week, and leave her current one.
As well as installing the potential new home, Island Roads will monitor her movements through specially installed CCTV – at which point the tree can be removed and Chine Hollow re-opened.
Kevin Burton Island Roads network manager said:
“While we appreciate the closure of this footpath is an inconvenience, we are sure residents, like us, are keen that we take all necessary steps to look after our wildlife.
“We hope the squirrel will be tempted to use the new house soon and in the meantime we will remain in close contact with our experts and Natural England to ensure we continue to do all that is expected of us.”
Paul Creer, who was assisted in installing the box by Graham Street of the IW Bat Hospital, said:
“It is a pleasure to work with a company that takes its duty to the environment seriously. We are all keeping our fingers crossed that the squirrel in question is willing to embrace a change of address so the footpath can be re-opened.
“The new home has already been filled with straw and nuts and so hopefully it will prove irresistible.”