P-06-1208 New laws to protect rare red squirrels from habitat loss which causes population decline



This petition was submitted by Craig Shuttleworth, having collected a total of 10,553 signatures.


Text of Petition:                     

It's illegal to kill or injure a red squirrel. Yet a forest containing them is not protected and can be cut down.


Although a felling licence is required to fell woodland, these licences cannot be refused even if they cause habitat loss and red squirrel population decline.


State owned forests do not require a licence but are managed under Plans which last 10 years or more. They don’t have to annually assess the cumulative impact of felling on red squirrel populations.


This must change.


Additional Information:

Rare red squirrels are threatened by outdated 1960s tree felling law:






Even in Welsh Government owned forests managed by Natural Resources Wales, the agency clear-fells habitat without assessing the impact on squirrel populations. On Anglesey, NRW has spent £0 in 10 years to monitor red squirrels. They have no idea of the effect of repeated tree felling on populations and are continuing to fell habitat regardless:




Welsh Government say tackling global deforestation is 'vital' to prevent 'decline of our biodiversity' yet their forest regulator destroys forest habitat here without assessing impact on red squirrels.




brown squirrel on tree branch




This petition was considered completed by the Petitions Committee at its meeting on 24/01/2022.


The Committee noted the positive debate and the Welsh Government commitments, congratulated the petitioner, and closed the petition.


In doing so, Members agreed to write Minister asking that Natural Resources Wales adopts their approach to red squirrel conservation on Anglesey in the light of their exemplar in north east Wales.


Full details of the consideration of this petition by the Committee and related documents can be seen on the Meetings tab above.

It was first considered by the Petitions Committee on 20/09/2021.



Senedd Constituency and Region

  • Arfon
  • North Wales


Further information



Business type: Petition

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: For consideration

First published: 15/09/2021