The Prince of Wales travelled to Cumbria to officially launch the Red Squirrel Survival Trust (RSST), a charity set up to help protect the species, which is now under threat from the growing number of grey squirrels that have come into the country from America.Britain’s dwindling red squirrel population is another example of man’s short-sightedness in an "increasingly throwaway" society. Prince of Wales was speaking at the launch of a charity to protect the endangered native species, he warned that the red squirrel could be extinct in the UK within 10 years."I cannot think of a better mascot for our country than the red squirrel. Perhaps that might make people realise what it is that they are about to lose. The terrifying reality is that, within a decade, if we cannot work together to bring in the necessary funding for the task which needs to be done, the red squirrel could be totally extinct across the UK." he said. Drawing attention to the threat also facing the British honeybee, Charles said: "The plight of the red squirrel and the honeybee too is yet another example of man’s short-sightedness.The future of both species is a crucial test of just how serious we are about sustainability." he added.
Charles revealed that he had regular contact with the "utterly charming creatures" at his residence in Scotland. "I have been indulging them with hazelnuts and they have become remarkably tame and come into the house. Sometimes when I am sitting at my desk I hear the pitter patter of tiny feet, and sometimes they do a wall of death around my office."