To our knowledge the Ennerdale valley doesn't have any resident Pine marten. We have erected a number of breeding boxes which we monitor for signs of their presence.
The pine marten is a medium sized native animal that was thought to have been widespread throughout the UK in historic times. Over the last few hundred years its numbers have declined due to persecution and the loss of woodland cover.They are usually solitary animals except when they meet up to mate. They are carnivores but also eat fruit and nuts. (picture thanks to The Vincent Wildlife Trust)
Where to see
There have been only a few sightings of Pine marten in Ennerdale over the last 20 years, many have been around the centre of the valley. Otherwise Pine marten can be seen in South Scotland. If you see one in Ennerdale please let us know.
With support and help of the Vincent Wild Trust We have been monitoring for the presence of Pine marten across the valley.
We have 4 Pine marten den boxes which we check regularly. We have also used hair tubes which are simply plastic pipes with a closed end. Inside the pipe honey is smeared over the closed end to encourage animals to investigate the pipe. When the animal goes up the pipe it leaves behind hairs on some sticky tape which can be sent off for DNA testing. This method has identified Pine marten in Grizedale Forest in South Cumbria in 2011. Lastly when we are monitoring our Red Squirrels our PIR activated trail cameras pick up other wildlife, hopefully one day an image will show a Pine marten.
In addition to monitoring, our management of the valley is creating better habitats for Pine marten so that hopefully when they do arrive, probably from Scotland, they will find the right habitats and stay in the valley.