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AM in Devil’s Bridge to see reintroduction of pine marten to Wales

Simon Thomas AM: Radio-tracking one of the translocated pine martens with Pine Marten Project Field Assistant Josie Bridges.
Simon Thomas AM: Radio-tracking one of the translocated pine martens with Pine Marten Project Field Assistant Josie Bridges.

MID AND WEST AM Simon Thomas visited Devil’s Bridge to assess how the return of the pine marten to Wales is going.

The pine marten is a member of the mustelid family, this small medium sized mammal is found across much of continental Europe and beyond.

Forty animals from Scotland have recently been translocated to mid Wales as part of an agreed reinforcement strategy for the species.

The aim is to re-establish a viable, self-sustaining population throughout the wooded landscape of Wales.

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs for Plaid Cymru Simon Thomas said: “I was very lucky to go to Devil’s Bridge a wonderful place, particularly in the autumn.  It is of course the setting for the filming of ‘Y Gwyll/Hinterland.’

“I was there to see the experiment of reintroducing the pine marten to Wales. This is a creature that had become extinct, to all intents and purposes, in Wales, but 40 of these creatures have by now been released back into the wilds of Ceredigion. They are from Scotland, and they are warmly welcomed, of course, because they are reintroducing something that had been lost from our natural ecosystem.

“In light of the release of these creatures into Wales, a number of interesting things have emerged, the first of which is that they travel long distances one went as far as Abergele. Secondly, they keep the number of grey squirrels down. So, we see that, in culling something that was a predator in the ecosystem, we allowed the grey squirrel to take over our woodlands.”

Natalie Buttriss, Chief Executive of The Vincent Wildlife Trust added: “I am delighted that Simon is the species champion for the pine marten and that he enjoyed his trip to the release region where we are boosting the local population of martens. This is a species which was once common in Wales but now needs our help to recover. It is a woodland species that not only benefits the natural environment but can also benefit local people and businesses.”

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Jon Coles

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