The first confirmed sighting of a wild pine marten in England has been made in more than a century.
An amateur photographer, Dave Pearce, spotted the pine marten in early July in a Shropshire woodland and captured the image on camera. He passed the photo to Shropshire Wildlife Trust and the trust’s mammal expert, Stuart Edmunds, was able to verify the image.
Pine martens are nocturnal, house cat-sized members of the stoat and weasel family. Making their homes in woodland, the diet of the pine marten generally includes small mammals, carrion, birds, insects and fruits.
There is a healthy population of at least 4,000 pine martens in Scotland, and small numbers live around Snowdonia, in Wales. Until recently, the pine marten was thought to be extinct in England, having been persecuted by game keepers and for their fur. Whilst several other sightings have been reported in Shropshire over the last few years, this is the firm confirmed report.
So cameras at the ready when you’re out and about in England’s woodland and you might just be able to capture another sighting of this beautiful creature.
17 July 2015