European bison released in Kent will help restore the countryside near Canterbury to its natural state.
The project, led by Kent Wildlife Trust and the Wildwood Trust, is taking place in West Blean and Thornden Woods. West Blean woods nature reserve is in one of the largest areas of ancient woodland in the UK.
In the UK, lack of woodland management is one of the eight biggest drivers of species decline. Wilder Blean aims to bring transformational change through a controlled trial with bison; a missing keystone species that is able to naturally manage woodlands.
Although European bison were never native to the UK, Steppe Bison and other wild grazing animals once were. European bison are now our best chance at recreating those grazing behaviours that once existed. Despite their size, bison are peaceful animals whose ability to fell trees by rubbing up against them and eating the bark, gives space for other plants and animals to thrive. Bison will be accompanied by other grazing animals to create the greatest plant and animal diversity possible.
Find out more about the project.