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The Grey Squirrel first appeared in Britain inside the late 1800s, but wasn't an instantaneous problem. It began its rapid spread across England and Wales quite some time later, between 1930 and 1950, when amounts of Red Squirrels began to shrink considerably. They possess higher birth rates, larger adult sizes and much better tolerance of high population densities. Compared to the red squirrel they require as much as twenty times more food than their red counterparts, so there's little surprise that the Red Squirrel can barely compete.
Something the British countryside has been unfortunate enough to find in the last eighty years is that Grey Squirrels can be immense pests. If you've ever noticed a broadleaved tree with stripped bark around the base then you've got been admiring the destructive handiwork of Grey Squirrels. In some cases they've been recognized to tear away enough to kill mature branches or entire trees. In the Woodlands industry this can be profit destroying. The quality from the timber is reduced, and growth is slower than under normal conditions.
In public areas you can't really protect every tree, as well as the only way to try to accomplish that is to use hunting and trapping the pests. In gardens they're much easier to deter. Smooth plastic cones around the trunk from the tree could keep squirrels in the bark, and baffles in many cases are places on feeding poles to keep them from feeders. Mixing some hot pepper or chili with seeds will deter them from feeders, as is also hyper-sensitive to hot spice where birds are immune. Smearing a Vaseline-Chili combination may also function as an effective deterrent on trees or poles, though this is just a temporary solution for trees.
Depending on what degree of lethality the gardener is comfortable with, Squirrel traps and feeders may suffice. Traps effectively bait them, though they've demonstrated the capability to learn in order to avoid them. Feeders will most likely distract them off their food sources, though it ought to be noted that they can also strip trees like a territorial action. Satiating their hunger won't necessarily save the tree.
The World Conservation Union now lists the Grey Squirrel as one from the worst 100 invasive alien species on earth, as well as the European Squirrel Initiative became a registered charity in 2004. They were designed with the purpose of restoring the Red Squirrel to prominence inside the UK, and controlling or eradicating the grey. By spreading the certainty concerning the Greys' destructive and greedy nature these organisations are working to research new ways of protecting the English and European countryside in the rampantly spreading creatures, and protect the current habitat.