How does a bison cross the road? - Kent Wildlife Trust

bison with a calf in the background on muddy ground amongst trees
Credit Donovan Wright

Plans to connect 200 hectares for bison approved by Canterbury Council

Kent Wildlife Trust have successfully solved the riddle most people did not know existed “How does a bison cross the road?” The answer - bison bridges, and now the plans to place them in a woodland on the outskirts of Canterbury have been approved.

The UK’s only free roaming bison herd have been living within West Blean and Thornden Woods since July. They were released as part of a pioneering wilding project, where, through their natural behaviours, they create an environment that encourages biodiversity whilst shaping the landscape to make it more resilient to climate change.

The intended roaming area for the herd is 200 hectares but so far, the bison have been living in 50 hectares of the forest. The ancient woodland has several footpaths and permissible paths running through it and this has presented a challenge to the project as Dangerous Wild Animal (DWA) Legislation dictates the bison cannot share the same space as the public.

Stan Smith, Project Manager, Kent Wildlife Trust explains: “The DWA legislation posed a problem as to how we can allow the public to access the site whilst also giving the bison the opportunity to freely choose where they graze. We did not want to re-route the public rights of way, community engagement is one of the fundamental objectives of the project, so taking away the public’s opportunity to see the bison was not an option.”

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Posted On: 06/06/2023

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