Pine Martens released into the wild in Wales

The Vincent Wildlife Trust’s Welsh pine marten project has reached an exciting stage as the full complement of 20 animals have now been released into the wild. These have all been fitted with radio collars therefore they will be followed throughout the winter in the hope that they survive to breed in the spring.

I recently spent two fascinating days with Dave Bavin and his team in the forested valleys of mid-Wales and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to see this beautiful mammal back where it belongs.  Although they are opportunistic omnivores, feeding on a wide range of prey, from mice and voles to blackberries and bilberries, recent research in Ireland has shown that pine marten target grey squirrels to the benefit of the smaller, more agile red squirrels.  It’s far too early to tell whether this could happen in mid-Wales but wouldn’t it be wonderful to walk through a Welsh woodland containing red squirrels and pine marten?