The pine marten is one of Britain’s rarest mammals. Vincent Wildlife Trust and the National-Lottery funded Back from the Brink project have confirmed that pine martens are returning to their former haunts in northern England. Find out more in this video.
Vincent Wildlife Trust’s Pine Marten Recovery Project has resulted in the return of the native pine marten to Wales.
Following a feasibility study and extensive consultation, 51 pine martens were translocated to mid-Wales from Scotland between 2015 and 2017. This has resulted in the re-establishment of a viable marten population, with the population growing in number and range. Wild again in Wales is a summary of the project to date.
Some of our most exciting evidence of pine martens comes through the use of camera traps. These are motion activated cameras that are left out in the field to capture photos or video of visiting martens. Video footage is the best way to check on the body condition of any martens and also record interesting natural behaviour. We can establish whether the marten on camera is male or female, an adult or juvenile.
As part of our Pine Marten Recovery Programme, VWT ran a camera trap loan scheme, where cameras were loaned to volunteers to record footage of pine martens. This scheme has provided thousands of hours of footage and is helping us to monitor the pine marten population as it grows and expands its range from the original release sites.
PM16 has been one of our most tricky translocated martens and has really kept our Pine Marten Recovery Project team on their toes! As she explored her new home, it sometimes felt that she was visiting all of Wales before deciding where she wanted to settle. Read some of her highlights in our blog.
What does it mean to you to have pine martens in Wales? In a video produced by the VWT, we ask this question to a number of people who live or work in Wales. This is what a few of those interviewed had to say:
“To think that they have come back to mid Wales, not far from my home, I tell you it is like welcoming back an old friend really. I dream of the day when I can walk along here and actually see a pine marten, so I am so happy about this.”
Iolo Williams, Naturalist and Broadcaster
“One of the things that has really impressed me about the pine marten reinforcement programme in mid-Wales is Vincent Wildlife Trust’s considerable attention to detail.”
Arwel Jones, Independent Consultant on Rural Development
In the Autumn of 2016, Vincent Wildlife Trust was in the Scottish Highlands catching pine martens for a second phase of translocations to Wales. In this video we bring you the very best footage of the pine martens who came to visit the trap sites (and a few unexpected visitors too!).
This video is a compilation of camera trap footage following the activity of one of the pine martens translocated from Scotland to Wales last autumn as part of our Pine Marten Recovery Project. All of the martens that came down to Wales were given nicknames by the team, normally by the people who drove them down at 3am, so some of them are questionable… However, mostly they were referred to by their numbers (because our sleep deprived brains kept mixing up the names!) Miss Piggy, however, was one marten that truly lived up to her name and so it well and truly stuck! For her full story visit the blog.
Whilst we may be a little biased, some remote cameras set up by our Pine Marten Project Field Assistant, Josie Bridges, have captured some amazing pine marten footage.
We have had several cameras trained on a den box in which PM02 had chosen to give birth and one of the cameras caught some fabulous footage of one of the kits trying to take its first steps out of the box and then falling. Mum comes to the rescue, but is mid-lunch when it happens and she has a grey squirrel in her mouth! Mum drops the squirrel and rescues her wayward kit, carrying it back up the tree before returning for her squirrel. The kit is getting more and more adventurous and will soon be accompanying PM02. Our remote cameras will be there to follow its slow (and somewhat wobbly) footsteps out into the wider world!
In the autumn of 2015, Vincent Wildlife Trust translocated 20 pine martens from Scotland to Wales as part of the Trust’s Pine Marten Recovery Project. This video is a compilation of footage filmed by our staff and from camera traps to give a snapshot of the martens’ journey and how they are settling into their new territory.
VWT staff have recently produced a video: Restoring the Pine Marten to England and Wales. The video highlights some of the research we have been carrying out to establish the present status of this rare British mammal, and explains why we believe that intervention is needed in order to prevent the pine marten from going extinct in England and Wales. Visit our project website for more information on pine marten recovery.