Grey Management

– If you live in an area with red squirrels or with a reintroduction program, please contact the conservation group in your area.

– If you live in an area with only grey squirrels, look on the Map to see if there is a grey control project nearby.    Please consider setting up a community grey control group.  Contact us for more information and support.

Grey Squirrel Management Training

British Red Squirrel has led a Partnership of major players in the Squirrel World to develop a comprehensive national, accredited Training course for people involved in grey squirrel management, whether for red conservation or to prevent further economic and environmental damage caused by this non-native species.  Accreditation will be given to participants who show proficiency in all aspects of grey squirrel management including the reasons for and methods of control.  See BRS Grey Squirrel Management Course Flyer for more details.


It is suggested that an inexperienced trapper should read and listen to as much information as possible about trapping and then use a method suitable for the situation.  There is no single ‘magic’ technique and adaptations may need to be tried.  However, all trapping must be humane and legal.

For a list of available traps licensed in the UK go to Squirrel Traps.

To view a typical Grey Squirrel Trapping Protocol used by volunteer groups please go to trapping-protocol.

For BASC Guidelines please go to Grey Squirrel Control.


Shooting grey squirrels is legal and can be highly effective in reducing numbers both as part of a wider management scheme and for dealing with particular issues.

You will need to:

  • have permission from the owner of the sporting rights
  • access to a suitable gun and compliance with the law concerning its ownership and use; in gardens an airgun may be the only suitable option
  • plan carefully safe shooting angles with a backstop within the area you have permission to shoot
  • check you have sufficient third party insurance (we recommend £10 million)
  • consider the squirrels’ welfare; you must be a competent shooter so they are killed humanely
  • consider a good use for the culled squirrels. Does a local project want them for research? They are perfectly edible by humans or pets such as ferrets
  • record what you see and shoot and be ready to provide that information to local projects.

You can find more detailed information on the law, safety, animal welfare and Recipes at these sites:


Warfarin had been used as an indiscriminate grey control poison for the purpose of tree protection in areas where there are no red squirrels. The EU license for the production and sale of Warfarin as a grey squirrel bait ended in September 2014. There is currently no other licensed poison for grey squirrel control.

Fertility Control (Immunocontraception) 

Fertility Control could provide a number of benefits because it is a non-lethal, humane and publicly acceptable method of grey control. Considerable progress has been made and research is ongoing for the development and licensing of an oral paste as opposed to an injectable form.  Watch More.

Gene Editing

Research is continuing, in the UK and the US, for the use of gene-editing as a means of controlling pests but no solid results are available for developing a suitable technique in the near future.  It is hoped that a method could be used for introducing gene-edited male grey squirrels which would produce only male offspring, eventually reducing the population.

For further information about grey squirrel control please see: Charles Dutton: The Grey Squirrel Management Handbook, 2016, Published by European Squirrel Initiative.