A ground-breaking rewilding project in Kent will see wild bison reintroduced in spring 2022.
A small herd of European Bison is to be released in Blean woods near Canterbury in Kent. It will be the first time in 6,000 years that the ancient species has roamed in Britain.
Led by Kent Wildlife Trust and the Wildwood Trust, the reintroduction forms part of a broader wilding project, which has been made possible by a £1m award from the People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund. The aim is to restore the natural ecosystem in the area’s renowned ancient woodlands and help store carbon.
There have already been successful releases of bison in European countries, including Poland, Romania, and the Netherlands, where people are reportedly able to walk through areas where bison are present without a problem if a respectful distance is kept. Reports Discover Wildlife of BBC wildlife Magazine.
The European bison is not native to Britain but its close relative, the globally extinct Bison schoetensacki, was here (at least during the Pleistocene). Dental mesowear/fossil tooth wear suggests that B. schoetensacki grazed grasses just like the European bison. The surviving European bison is therefore a suitable surrogate for this extinct species.
Bison have been successfully reintroduced in Europe in places such as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. They thrive alongside wild horses and various deer species, each performing a slightly different ecological role. The Europeran bison is due to be released in Kent in England in 2022 as part of the Wilder Blean project. See also story in The Guardian, Wild bison to return to UK for first time in 6,000 years. Sites comprising scattered woodland and open shrubby grasslands, or arable reverting to such habitats, are ideal for bison. Reports Rewilding Britain.
10 exciting rewilding projects happening in the UK and Ireland – Trees For Life.
With rewilding a hot topic in the conservation world, we looked at projects that have been focusing on restoring and reclaiming habitats. From pine marten reintroduction in Wales to Ireland’s first wilderness, here are 10 exciting examples of how we are welcoming back the wild. https://treesforlife.org.uk/10-exciting-rewilding-projects-happening-in-the-uk/
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