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 is extremely grateful to Dr Ian Baker, of Leonardo UK Ltd, for his generosity in sharing his video of footage filmed for the BBC programme Inside the Bat Cave. This was filmed using thermal imaging cameras over a few weeks in the summer of 2019 and gives a unique view of greater horseshoe bats at one of VWT’s largest maternity roosts in Dorset. The video also includes footage filmed by Dr Liat Wicks.
Inside the Bat Cave was first shown on BBC2 in October 2020 and is available on iPlayer until September 2021.
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!
An animal that tips the scales at just 6g and that flies silently at night poses challenges to those humans who attempt to study, conserve and capture it on film. But, this feat was achieved in the summer of 2014 when the Trust, and the lesser horseshoe bats it protects, were invited to participate in a film about Irish wildlife called ‘Nature’s Keepers’, the focus of which was to highlight the people who study and conserve the fauna and flora of the island and its surrounding waters. The final one hour film was recently screened on Australian television.
Director Cécile Favier and cameraman Frédéric Menissier of Films Concept Associés for Ushuaïa TV spent one day and night with Kate learning about how the Trust undertakes its work of managing roosts for the lesser horseshoe, and the results can be seen in this video.