Wild Bison To Be Introduced Into The UK For First Time In 6,000 Years

As if we didn’t already have enough to deal with in the UK at the moment, we’re soon gonna have wild bison to contend with too.

The huge mammals will be back for the first time in 6,000 years, which could certainly liven up your dog walk.

But the European bison will be back with good reason – and there won’t be many of them to begin with. Their reintroduction is part of a The Wilder Blean Project, a £1 million ($1.26 million) scheme designed to help restore wildlife and habitats.

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A small herd of one male and three females will be set free in woodland in Kent where it is hoped they will help the environment to thrive. The bovines kill trees by eating their bark and rubbing against them, which results in dead wood accumulating on the ground for insects to eat, which in turn provides birds with plenty to feast on.

They also fell trees, creating sunny clearings where native plants can grow.

According to The Guardian, Paul Hadaway, from Kent Wildlife Trust, said: “The Wilder Blean project will prove that a wilder, nature-based solution is the right one to tackle the climate and nature crisis we now face.

“Using missing keystone species like bison to restore natural processes to habitats is the key to creating bio-abundance in our landscape.”

Paul Whitfield, director general of Wildwood Trust, added: “The partners in this project have long dreamt of restoring the true wild woodlands that have been missing from England for too long.

“This will allow people to experience nature in a way they haven’t before, connecting them back to the natural world around them in a deeper and more meaningful way.”

European bison are the closest living relative to the ancient steppe bison that once lived in the UK before they were driven to extinction by hunting and environmental changes; and although they can weigh up to a tonne, Kent Wildlife Trust and the Wildwood Trust have reassured the public they are peaceful and will be kept away from paths.

Stan Smith of Kent Wildlife Trust said: “They’re enormous, but what is amazing is how they blend into their background and they’re quite docile really.

“Sometimes in the rewilding debate people think that it’s a look back to the past, but that’s not what we’re about. We’re about trying to find the right natural solution for the modern world.”

The release of the bison is currently planned for spring 2022, so we have that to look forward to, eh?

Raven Josephine-Povar

Born in Chile, I moved to NY when I was 17, and never stopped chasing my dreams. Avid writer, and cat enthusiast, I explore the world around me and share the interesting things I find with an open mind.