The Scottish Government’s forestry agency has been accused of “indiscriminate massacre” after it admitted it could have killed nearly 2,000 baby red squirrels over five years.

Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) estimated that the “theoretical maximum” of red squirrel babies – known as kits – killed when their nests were destroyed during tree felling between 2017 and 2022 was 1,976.

FLS has a duty to protect wildlife and is a partner in a major multi-agency effort called Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels. It took the protection of endangered species such as red squirrels “very seriously”, it said.

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