Hi everyone, I've just got back from a short break at Centerparcs and it got me wondering what everyones' views on squirrel culling are? The reason being that I don't think we were supposed to see it happen, but the whole time we were there, forest rangers were putting down traps for squirrels very close to our villa and when I asked what they were doing I was told that they are such a nuisance, chewing on the wires, damaging the villas, carrying disease and that the numbers just had to be kept down. If that is the case then so be it, but the fact is the poor little things were left for hours on end in the traps - from at least 4.00 p.m. till the next morning on a couple of occasions and they were going crazy in the cages gnawing desperately at the wire and twisting and turning to find a way out. Not very nice background entertainment when you're trying to enjoy your barbecue on a lovely summer’s evening. The ranger told us rather incredulously that "some people even feed them". Yet despite this total haranguing of the squirrel, Centerparcs were selling big bags of squirrel food in the Parc Market. Doesn’t it seem a bit hypocritical to quote all the negative factors about them, yet still use their ‘cuteness factor’ to profit from them? Sell squirrel food and then kill them when they come close to the villas?
Before I go off and write a nasty letter I just wondered whether I'm getting this out of proportion because they are just so cute!! What do you all think?
If they have to be controlled then so be it but i hate seeing anything caught in traps like that, i don't think you're over reacting especially if they are left like that in view when you're supposed to be on holiday..and that is wrong if they are selling food for them too in the shop.
It will be interetsing to see what response you get.
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I have no idea what the legal issues here might be, but personally I find the whole sad story quite appalling. This is so cruel.
Centerparcs use the presence of squirrels in the woodlands as an advertising tool to entice families to stay there. Also, by encouraging guests to feed them (by selling the food) they are also encouraging the squirrels to hang about.
What must the hundreds of small children think when they see these poor creatures trapped and distressed? I know how I would feel, and I would be angry enough to let them out and say and do unmentionable things to the rangers and the management of Centreparcs.
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Thanks for your thoughts Alan and Linda.
I don't think we were supposed to see the traps - I just happened to be about when the rangers were putting them down the first time and then we couldn't stop ourselves from going and checking every few hours thereafter. The traps were "sort of" out of view in that they were not on the main pathways, but I don't think I would have missed them anyway as I kept going off the beaten track a bit as there were plenty of jays in trees which I was trying to photograph! I have to admit that one of my sons did manage to open one trap and free a squirrel that had been sat there for hours - he said he had never seen anything bound off so quickly in his life!! Hopefully they weren't seen by smaller children but even we, all adults in our family now, found it very offputting and won't look at the woodland life in the same light again!
Whether they were partially hidden or not makes no difference in my eyes. It's the fact they were there at all that matters most. Good on your son for releasing one.
It certainly doesn't look good on their part if holidaymakers can see rangers laying traps.
I totally agree with the views of Alan and Linda, it is just barbaric to attract an animal with food and advertise the fact that they dwell in their woods, and then trap them. Centerparc have a good reputation, perhaps they should think again of the repercussions of this particularly offensive behaviour.
Lot to learn
You may find this website of interest. www.grey-squirrel.org.uk.
I empathise with your views absolutely, Christine.
"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom" - Wlliam Blake
The hypocrisy of the situation is really quite overwhelming. Maybe write an article for one of the 'nationals' then the whole country will know what Centreparcs is all about!
I agree. They might need culling and I won't argue with that but at least do it out of sight where noone can stumble over it and be honest about it. It would be better to have a don't feed the squirrels policy.
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I think this is terrible, Centerparcs should be thoroughly ashamed, this is so cruel. Like Claire, I empathise with you Christine.
The squirells that visit my garden eat the nuts and the sunflower hearts, they are Gods creatures I love to see them, they have such wonderful antics and make me smile and laugh, the birds still get their food, we are all happy with each other.
The truth is I'm mad. We are all mad and many are too mad to know the truth.
Thank you everyone for your thoughts on this. I do know that squirrels can cause a lot of damage to property but this doesn't excuse Centerparcs approach to the problem. I have written quite a lenghty letter to them, and will be interested to see what sort of response it brings (if any). Even though I don't expect much to change I feel I ought to let them know that their treatment of the squirrels does not pass unnoticed.
You've done the right thing Christine, it will be interesting to see what they say
Well done Christine, like Alan says, you've done the right thing. Was this at Nottingham?