A sculpture of a pine marten with young, created by local artist Grace Young-Monaghan, now greets visitors to the Hafod Estate car park – a popular starting point for visitors to the Devil’s Bridge area.
More than 50 people celebrated the sculpture unveiling by local naturalist and TV presenter Iolo Williams, with the midges failing to dampen enthusiasm for this symbol of a Welsh success story.
The pine marten is a native Welsh mammal in the verge of extinction, but thanks to The Vincent Wildlife Trust’s Pine Marten Recovery Project, the population is on the way back; with at least five females giving birth this year.
‘For me to come out and see pine martens being released here was incredibly emotional because we were finally doing something really positive about getting an animal back where it belongs in Wales. To see pine martens here lifts my spirits no end and it is a massive thank you, a huge diolch yn fawr, to everyone involved,’ said Iolo Williams.
Iolo Williams unveiling the sculpture with Project Officer David Bavin
Thirty nine pine martens have now been brought from Scotland and relocated in woodland owned by Natural Resources Wales, with up to 20 more animals being translocated to Wales this autumn. This final total should result in a marten population that will become self-sustaining, and over time will spread to other forests of Wales and across the border into England. Without this helping hand, it is likely that this native mammal would simply disappear from the Welsh landscape.
‘We wanted to hold this event to thank people locally who have given us so much support and have been so enthusiastic about the project. This has been a really key aspect that has contributed to the project’s success so far,’ said Natalie Buttriss, CEO of the Vincent Wildlife Trust.
Find out more by visiting the Pine Marten Recovery Project website.