From Steve Shaw, Havenstreet:

If, like me, you were brought up on the Island, you will have been taught the red squirrel is a protected creature, and any sightings of their grey rivals should be treated with great caution. As a child I found this confusing. I loved all animals when I was younger.

During a trip to the pub last Friday, my colleague and I discussed the red squirrel situation on the Island. The main takeaway from our conversation is something we both agree on: if the grey variant is the superior, stronger breed, why must we protect red squirrels?

In all my adult years, I have not heard a reasonable argument for this. This seems like nothing more than protecting a creature for the sake of it. Would Robin Hill lose all custom if they disappeared? No. Would Island resources be better spent elsewhere? Arguably.

People suggest grey squirrels are violent — are they? I used to live in Suffolk and my ex-wife and I would come across them regularly on our countryside walks, and they are beautiful creatures — near radiant.

If their violence is purely towards the red breed, then why are we protecting the inferior animal?

Especially with Brexit approaching (or so we are led to believe), we have to learn to protect our strengths rather than defend our weaknesses. It’s what won us the referendum in the first place.

I am yet to hear any concrete argument for this squirrel madness.

If there is one then I would love to hear it but this Island’s enforced protection of red squirrels continues to baffle me.