A new effort is under way to help Ellon’s red squirrel population.
Two hundred Scots pine trees have recently been planted at Balmacassie Community Woodland.
The squirrels will have a safe ‘corridor’ from one block of trees to the otherBob Davis Ythan Biodiversity Volunteers
The project has involved the Ythan Biodiversity Volunteers with support from workers at nearby Ellon Can-Do and Benchmark.
When the community woodland was planted several years ago, a large block of Scots pine was included in the mix of native species.
In a strip alongside the Ellon bypass and near the industrial estate, the trees are now producing cones which are a valuable food source for the red squirrel.
Ythan Biodiversity Volunteers spokesman Bob Davis said: “Red squirrels are regular visitors to the woodland around the Castle Park estate.
“However the woodland at Castle Park ends short of the Scots pine by a hundred metres or so.
“Such a short distance may not appear as significant to us, but to a small squirrel it is a long way, across open ground devoid of tree cover where there is a serious risk of getting pounced on by a predator.”
He added: “We came up with an idea to plant more Scots pine in the open area between the Castle Park woodland and the existing Scots pine at Balmacassie.
“Once the newly-planted trees have grown sufficiently, the squirrels will have a safe ‘corridor’ from one block of trees to the other...their very own branch line.”
The trees were supplied by Aberdeenshire Council, who have supported a number of efforts to help the town’s red squirrel population.
The council also carry out the maintenance of paths throughout Balmacassie woodland - a popular local walking area.