Pine martens in Shropshire
Our pine marten project aims to research the pine marten population in south Shropshire and protect their habitat.
The population was discovered unexpectedly after the first ever photograph of a wild pine marten in Shropshire was taken by local wildlife recorder Dave Pearce in the the Clun Valley. Since the photo was taken, our resident pine marten enthusiast Stuart Edmunds has captured astounding footage of a number of pine martens in the same area.
At least 13 individuals have been filmed on camera traps in Shropshire since 2015 and in 2019 and young pine martens have been recorded, which would suggest that we have a breeding population in the county.
To find out more about the species click here.
What is the project doing?
We are carrying out extensive research and monitoring to determine the population size. This is being undertaken through camera trap monitoring and scat detection using a conservation sniffer dog. By identifying the habitat the species are using we can give them the best chance of survival by working alongside landowners and gamekeepers to protect the woodlands upon which they depend. We can also improve the potential for them to breed by offering safe den boxes across a wide area.
The project also aims to raise awareness of these elusive mammals, through talks, school visits and volunteering opportunities.
England has a lower percentage of woodland cover than any other European nation and much of the woodland is considered to be in poor condition with limited potential for woodland wildlife. Pine martens are a great indicator of healthy woodland and the discovery of them in Shropshire shows that there is potential for them to make a return across the whole of the UK if lost woodlands can be replanted and better connected.Shropshire Wildlife Trust
Opportunities to get involved with the project
Join the pine marten team to see how cameras are being used to monitor these elusive creatures
Pine martens are very hard to spot, but with some guidance, anyone can make the effort to go out to see a pine marten in the wild. The pine marten experience offers an interesting insight into the monitoring work taking place in Shropshire and offer some introductory training in pine marten tracking. Numbers are limited and we ask for a donation to the project by all participants. Please note that night time stake outs have now finished until next Spring 2019.
To express an interest in the walks, please email firstname.lastname@example.org All proceeds received will fund the project beyond 2018.
Donations to the project will allow:
- Continued deployment of trail cameras
- Volunteer searches for pine marten scat
- Use of a trained pine marten scat detection dog
- Installation of 100 pine marten den boxes
- Installation and weekly checking of hair sample collection tubes
- Working with local landowners
- Raising awareness of martens in Shropshire