Sunday, 31st May 2009
Scots Tory MEP pledges support to save red squirrels
Scottish Conservative MEP, Struan Stevenson yesterday (Saturday 30th May 2009) pledged his support to save the endangered red squirrel.
Mr Stevenson was at the Isle of Arran Brewery to launch a new range of bottled beer, Arran Red Squirrel.
The real ale, made with natural ingredients, is a red beer produced to help conserve the native reds in Scotland and in Europe.
Mr Stevenson has been instrumental in facilitating this European-wide initiative, gaining support from the European Commission.
Following the outstanding success of a cask trial on the Isle of Arran, the beer has been bottled and will be distributed across the UK, with a percentage of revenues being donated to established red squirrel protection groups.
With the red squirrel in fast decline the support from the sale of this beer will help organisations, including the European Squirrel Initiative, to support the research and monitor of survival rates in reds, promoting red squirrel education in local communities and raise awareness in the conservation and protection of the species.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Stevenson said:
"The red squirrel has suffered a dramatic decline in recent years; it is estimated that there are only 140,000 red squirrels left in Britain of which Scotland is home to approximately three quarters of them.
"There is a real need for an integrated and sustainable approach to the protection and preservation of the red squirrel. The proceeds from this beer will help to support organisations and charities aimed at protecting and raising awareness across Scotland and in Europe.”
Arran is a red squirrel 'stronghold' which provides a haven to help the reds to thrive away from the threat of grey squirrels.
Isle of Arran Brewery’s west coast sales manager, Gwen Billson said:
"The cask version of Red Squirrel was so popular it was the first beer to sell out at the recent Paisley beer festival and our trade sales are booming. The bottles version has already advanced orders for 3,000 cases and I see this being one of our best sellers."
Notes to Editors
1. If you would like more information on Arran Red Squirrel, please contact http://www.arranbrewery.co.uk or call Gwen Billson on 01770 302 353