One of the Isle of Wight's red squirrels. Picture by Chris Thwaites.
FRIENDS of red squirrels on the Isle of Wight have been nominated for prestigious awards.
Supporters of the Wight Squirrel Project (WSP) — Canon Michael Hodge, of Yarmouth, Mike Evans, of Yafford, and Bob and Jacquie Wilson, of Seaview, have been nominated for the national charity Red Squirrel Survival Trust’s 2014 Volunteer Awards.
They are in the unsung hero category, which celebrates volunteers who work behind the scenes on red squirrel projects.
Canon Hodge has written two special computer programmes to aid essential recording for the project. Mike Evans helps to man the WSP stand at numerous Island shows and community events, where his feeders and nesting boxes are sold.
Since rescuing two abandoned baby squirrels — kittens — 30 years ago, Jacquie Wilson, with the help of her husband, Bob, has been hand rearing orphans and caring for young, sick and injured reds for WSP.
The four awards are designed to recognise the work of the 3,000 volunteers who give up their time to red squirrel conservation.
Winners, and those who have nominated them, will be invited to a presentation ceremony in the summer, where certificates and prizes will help celebrate the contribution they have made to saving an iconic member of the UK’s wildlife.