Pine Marten reintroduction proposed for South-East
Kent Wildlife Trust and Wildwood Trust, in collaboration with Sussex Wildlife Trust, are assessing the possibility of restoring Pine Marten to south-east England.
Pine Marten was considered functionally extinct in England due to extensive hunting and loss of habitat throughout the 19th century. Today, this rare species is mainly found in Scotland and Ireland, and has also been reintroduced into fragmented areas in other parts of the UK.
Pine Marten is found widely in Scotland and Ireland, but is missing from the countryside of south-east England (Ron Marshall).
Giving reasons for the idea, the organisations said that Pine Martens "play important roles which contribute to a biodiverse environment by dispersing the seeds they eat, as well as influencing small mammal populations through predation as part of their varied diet".
The project is still in its early stages. The Wildlife Trusts are carrying out feasibility studies and forming a stakeholder working group to enable discussions between a range of key organisations and community groups. This stakeholder working group will be a key component in determining the outcomes of the South-East Pine Marten project.