Bison introduced to woodland in project to help restore wildlife
BISON are being introduced to a British woodland in a project to restore an ancient habitat and its wildlife, conservationists have said.
The move is part of a £1 million project led by Kent Wildlife Trust and the Wildwood Trust to help manage Blean Woods near Canterbury, Kent. European bison, the continent’s largest land mammal, are the closest living relative to ancient steppe bison that would have once roamed Britain and naturally managed the habitat, conservationists said.
A closely-knit herd of four European bison will be introduced into a fenced enclosure away from public footpaths, in what is the first time the animals have been introduced to a nature reserve to help wildlife in the UK. They will be within a wider 500 hectare (1,200-acre) area which will also use other grazing animals to create varied and healthy habitat. Despite their size, with adult males weighing up to a tonne, bison are peaceful, and no other species can perform the job of engineering the habitat in quite the same way.