Red squirrel reintroduction plan for East Yorkshire

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Red SquirrelImage source, PA
Image caption,
Red squirrels are under threat from larger grey squirrels

A former farmer says he is hoping to reintroduce red squirrels to East Yorkshire.

Shaun Marrs is planning to breed the animals in Holderness and release them into woodland that he owns.

The red squirrel population is under threat from its larger grey cousin, which carries a virus that kills the red.

There are estimated to be only 160,000 red squirrels remaining in the UK, 75% of which are in Scotland.

Mr Marrs said he would buy the animals from specialist wildlife suppliers and then raise them in an enclosure before releasing them into the wild.

He said the animals were "not easy to breed" and estimated that it would take about two years before the young squirrels were ready to be released.

"I know Prince Charles, he's trying to bring them back to the countryside on all of his estates," he said.

He added: "They are native to this country and we need red squirrels back in this country I think."

Mr Marrs said he was not aware of any red squirrels in the East Yorkshire area.