Innovative mammal conservation

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blog > A day in the life of a PMRP volunteer

1st March 2018

Thom radio-tracking. Photo: ©A. Willcox

Although I have been volunteering with the Pine Marten Recovery Project (PMRP) for two years, I am yet to see a pine marten (and not for the lack of hours looking for them!). Radio-tracking is the task I most often help out with for this project and each session tends to follow a similar pattern…

On lucky days, we are able to track martens right up to their den sites which they use to rest during the day. It is brilliant to come within 5-10 metres of a pine marten; however, I have never seen one whilst doing this as they are always curled up fast asleep! You might think that I would be frustrated or disappointed about getting so close to one of the martens and not quite being able to see it, but for me the feeling is quite the opposite. The fact that you can spend so much time in their habitat tracking their every movement and never even hear a rustle of branches to give away their presence, just adds a sense mysticism and charisma to this small, fluffy and big-eyed carnivore. To me, they are a reminder of what the wild once was and what a wild animal should be. That their purpose is not fundamentally for us to see, that there is value in a species that lives unseen, fulfilling a role that has been missing in our countryside and slowly bringing balance back to our ecosystems. That being said, I look forward to the day I can hopefully visit a feeding station late at night to watch a Welsh pine marten up close for the first time.

Thom Faulkner, PMRP Volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering with VWT, please email VWT’s volunteer coordinator:

3-4 Bronsil Courtyard, Eastnor, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1EP
01531 636441 |