UWTSD student volunteers help endangered pine marten return to the Brecon Beacons


Student volunteers from UWTSD's BSc Environment, Sustainability & Climate Change course have helped a project which has enabled critically endangered pine marten to make a successful return to the Brecon Beacons.

UWTSD student volunteers have help endangered pine marten return to the Brecon Beacons

The project was launched in 2018 by the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority to provide suitable den sites and monitoring for the pine marten. This year, with help from volunteers at the University, it is proving to be a success.

Lucy Fairbrother, Marius Tipa, Robyn Betson and Helen Peake were recruited from the University for the team to work alongside Brecon Beacons Assistant Conservation Officer, Jason Rees.

Mr Rees is passionate about conserving the future of the species. He said: “The project has been running in the west of the National Park. It’s a very rural landscape with a sparse population and we were struggling to recruit volunteers to help with the work. Thanks to a partnership with the University, we have recruited four wonderful volunteers. They have helped us erect camera traps and den boxes.”

Senior Lecturer Lara Hopkinson said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to be part of this volunteer-led project, which provides our students with extra-curricular experience whilst underpinning their learning. The fact that pine martens have been seen is a real bonus to our volunteer group."

Camera traps were set up across the park to monitor the success of the project. Within the space of a few short months, these cameras revealed what the project team had been waiting for - evidence of pine martens in the Brecon Beacons.

Pine martens are critically endangered in England and Wales and conservationists say projects like this are vital to the future of the species.

Pine martens are mammals from the same family as the mink, weasel, and stoat -notable for their brown fur with a flash of cream on their chests. They make their home in woodland and are roughly the size of a small domestic cat.

The team will continue to monitor the presence of these elusive creatures, but they are hopeful for the future.

Volunteer Lucy Fairbrother said she was delighted with the results: “I’ve loved volunteering for this project. It’s so rewarding when you see the footage from the camera traps. The pine martens are back – I’m proud to have been able to help achieve that.”

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Mobile: 07384 467071

Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk