After a year of bison freely roaming Canterbury woodland, monitoring programme releases first year of findings - Kent Wildlife Trust

a mother bison with large horns along with her calf looking at the camera
Matriarch and male calf by Bison Ranger Hannah Mackins

In July 2022, free-roaming European bison were released into woodland in Canterbury in a bid to boost biodiversity and the Wilder Blean Project’s baseline monitoring programme led to many exciting discoveries.

In a recent update Kent Wildlife Trust’s ecologist Kora Ross released the first year of monitoring data during a webinar, with the results highlighting the importance of wildlife surveys and monitoring. There are a number of interesting finds within the data and clear visual changes to the woodland, however more time is needed before any conclusion can be drawn about how the bison have impacted West Blean and Thornden Woods compared with more traditional grazing animals.

The Wilder Blean monitoring programme is one of the largest of its kind in the UK which aims to establish if bison are the ecosystem engineers they are thought to be. The programme is made up of three treatment areas:

The monitoring programme compares how the woodland management for each area impacts the site using several methods.

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Posted On: 14/05/2024

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