What is a Pine Marten?
Elusive members of the weasel family, they are half a metre long, weighing about the same as a rabbit. Pine Martens live in woods. They are agile climbers, and raise their families in tree holes. Resourceful and inquisitive, they eat many things, including small mammals, berries and birds. Once very common, their numbers were devastated by clearance of woodland and control by gamekeepers and landowners.
Why are they in trouble?
Pine Martens are now protected by law across the UK, though rare in England. They are faring well and spreading in Scotland. Where habitat is suitable - they will soon start to re-colonise parts of Northumberland and Cumbria. Their spread and population recovery in England would benefit greatly from support, especially from landowners and local communities in this area.
How we’ll help the Pine Marten
This Back from the Brink project will monitor the natural recovery of this animal in northern England, and develop a greater understanding of its status and distribution in this part of England. We’ll survey for their presence with established techniques, such as searches for scats (poos!) and camera traps in likely recolonisation routes. We’ll make them welcome in woodlands that they do, or might, colonise, by providing artificial den boxes for them to rest and breed in.
Most importantly, we’ll work with volunteers and landowners, giving opportunities for communities around Pine Marten areas to get involved in survey and monitoring work.
What we’re aiming for
By the end of the project, we’ll have monitored the spread of the Pine Marten in northern England, and have a clearer idea of its status and distribution here, as part of the overall recovery of the species in this country.
How to get involved
Can you help us with surveys, or with providing a place for Pine Martens to live in northern England? Find out more at our talks, walks and events.
You can get the latest news, and find out about upcoming events, by following the links below.