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Project information

Pine Marten Recovery Project

This project is the largest carnivore recovery programme in Britain of its kind and involves translocating pine martens from Scotland to mid Wales to supplement the declining population. Local people and stakeholders will be consulted and given the opportunity to shape the project for local benefit.

January 2015 - December 2020

Charity information: The Vincent Wildlife Trust

The Vincent Wildlife Trust logo
  • Need


    Following years of persecution and habitat loss, the pine marten is the rarest carnivore in England and Wales. Whilst pine marten populations in Scotland and Ireland are recovering well, pine martens have not recovered in England and Wales and are on the brink of extinction. Intervention is needed urgently for a conservation translocation to boost and restore healthy populations to England and Wales.


    Following an intensive feasibility study in 2014, we have identified the most suitable areas to reinforce declining pine marten populations. We are now preparing to translocate pine martens from Scotland, where there is a healthy population, to an area in mid Wales, where pine martens were once common but are now on the brink of extinction. This area has been identified as the most appropriate as it has suitable habitat, low road density and minimal conflict with humans.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Restore viable, healthy pine marten populations to England and Wales where conditions are suitable


    » Translocate pine martens from a healthy population in Scotland to an area of suitable habitat in mid Wales.
    » Intensively monitor the released pine martens through radio-tracking to understand how the animals settle into their new territories.

    What success will look like

    The releases will be deemed successful if the majority of animals survive and there is evidence of breeding in following years.

    Aim 2

    To assess the socio-economic impacts of a successful pine marten recovery.


    » Engagement of key stakeholders, including farmers and landowners, and local communities around the release sites.
    » Exploring the potential for eco-tourism focused on pine martens.
    » investigating the impact of the released pine martens on the non-native grey squirrel.

    What success will look like

    A report will be completed collating and analysing the views of local people consulted and how the recovery of the pine marten has impacted them.

  • Impact


    The project will result in the long-term recovery of the pine marten population in Wales and England, measured by regular monitoring of the population. The project will provide a best-practice model for future reintroductions or translocations, resulting in successful projects elsewhere. We hope that the project will result in a number of socio-economic benefits for local communities where pine martens have become established, such as eco-tourism initiatives and economic benefits for landowners.


    There is a potential risk to the survival of the pine martens throughout the project period. This has been mitigated by a comprehensive feasibility study and follow-up risk analyses by experts. There is also the risk that pine martens may come into conflict with landowner interests. We have developed a mitigation strategy in collaboration with stakeholders to deal with any potential conflict issues. The release sites have been chosen to reduce the likelihood of conflict or pine marten mortality.


    Current funders of the project are provided with regular updates on project activities and budget spending and any changes to the original project plans.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £1,200,018

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      Amount Heading Description
      £613,366 Staff costs Staff salaries and expenses
      £88,921 Office costs Office and IT equipment, phones, accommodation
      £125,003 Vehicle & travel costs Field vehicles, fuel & maintenance
      £97,020 Field equipment GPS collars, camera traps, animal pens etc
      £119,580 Out-sourced expertise Veterinary costs and DNA analysis
      £86,430 Publicity, events & volunteers Publicity materials, stakeholder engagement, website, volunteer training
      £69,698 Other Mitigation costs, contingency

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Chester Zoo £50,000 Guaranteed
    Chester Zoo £50,000 Conditional
    Woodland Trust £50,000 Guaranteed
    People's Trust for Endangered Species £27,600 Guaranteed
    Private donor £14,000 Guaranteed
    National Trust/Banrock £3,000 Guaranteed
    Ellem Foundation £7,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The initial pine marten release areas are in mid Wales (Ceredigion and west Powys), where there is suitable woodland habitat and conditions for pine martens. After the first release pilot has been deemed successful, we will be identifying other release sites elsewhere in Wales and England.


    There will be opportunities for local people to help with tracking the pine martens and learning about their behaviour, with training provided for those who want to develop new skills. There will also be benefits to local tourism providers and businesses through utilising the project to attract new visitors who want to see pine martens, as occurs in Scotland. This can bring revenue into rural communities. There may be benefits to landowners if pine martens are proven to control grey squirrels.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Vincent Wildlife Trust is an authority on pine martens, being the only organisation to have been working on pine martens in Britain for over 30 years. We have built up a wealth of knowledge, a database of pine marten records and a comprehensive network of people and organisations who have contributed to pine marten work, including a national strategy group. We have produced a variety of publications on pine martens, including advice on how to safeguard poultry enclosures from pine martens

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Jenny MacPherson - Pine Marten Project Manager

    Oversees and coordinates all aspects of the project, particularly providing scientific direction, and line manages the project officer.

    David Bavin - Pine Marten Project Officer

    Carries out research and surveys, undertakes stakeholder and community engagement, carrying out a part-time PhD on the project.

    Natalie Buttriss - Chief Executive

    Oversees direction of the project, particularly the engagement of funders and key partners.

    Dr Henry Schofield - Conservation Programmes Manager

    Inputting to research programme, engaging partners, chairing national strategy group and line manages project manager.

Pine marten (c) Terry Whittaker

Pine marten (c) Terry Whittaker

Having searched high and low for pine martens in Wales, I am excited at the prospect of having these wonderful animals back in their former haunts

Iolo Williams