pine marten


Conservationists are considering reintroducing pine martens to the southeast of England.

Once common throughout the UK, these rare members of the weasel family faced extinction due to hunting and habitat loss.

Now, a coalition of conservation groups is exploring options to reintroduce them to woodlands in Kent and Sussex, launching a public consultation for the initiative.

The Pine Marten Restoration Project, a collaboration between Kent Wildlife Trust, the Wildwood Trust, Sussex Wildlife Trust, Ashdown Forest, and Forestry England, aims to bolster populations of these cat-sized predators.

Successfully reintroduced in other regions, evidence suggests they’re breeding in the New Forest.

Preferring well-wooded areas with ample cover, pine martens primarily feed on small rodents, birds, insects, and fruit.

Scientists emphasise their crucial role in biodiversity and conservation, particularly in managing invasive grey squirrels and safeguarding native red squirrel populations.

Alongside habitat suitability studies in the southeast, the project actively engages the public through consultations.+

Matt Phelps, species recovery officer for the Sussex Wildlife Trust, said: “Local people are crucial to the success of any proposed reintroduction project.

“We want to hear from anyone who may have questions, concerns or might want to be involved in the project on a voluntary level.”



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