My daughter was at the Duke's Middle School in Alnwick and was one of the children chosen to meet Ernie Gordon in 2007, to promote his new book, Rusty Redcoat.
The book was promoted and launched by Her Grace The Duchess of Northumberland at the Tree House in Alnwick Garden, and each child was given a DVD of the occasion, filmed and produced in a limited run of 100 by Colin Storey. Ernie received all of the copies. Thank you to Mr Storey for directing me to Ernie's website at http://www.rustyredcoat.co.uk
where you can see more of Ernie's work.
Ernie is now 81 and has just written another book, 'The Adventures of Rusty Redcoat - Volume 2', still trying to draw attention to the plight of our native red squirrels.
As a Londoner I had not appreciated that we only had grey squirrels
there because they were better survivors and had pushed our native reds out. Like many people I thought they were only red in the north, a common misconception.
Ernie has now written to HRH The Prince of Wales to ask for his help, following reports of proposed culling of 'diseased' greys at Sandringham.
I hope he receives a positive reply.
If you would like to see a red squirrel whilst visiting Northumberland there is almost always one on the feeder as you pay at the car park box to go into Woodhorn Museum in Ashington. We did have one that visited us at our station, but I have not seen him for a very long time.
Red Squirrels Northern England is a red squirrel conservation partnership working right across northern England - http://www.rsne.org.uk/
and they appreciate people emailing them with sightings. I sincerely hope that whoever is responsible for the despatch of the greys is fully trained and able to euthanise them humanely.
Ernie Gordon video, 2014 Red Squirrel appeal. His heart is in the right place.