A new garden visitor

Yesterday morning I spied this pine marten (Martes martes) in our garden.

S/he enjoyed a snack of peanuts that were lying on the ground, from where I’d swept them from the squirrel nut box when I cleaned it out yesterday.


It was difficult to get a clear shot as the pine marten kept nosing-on down in the ground elder snuffling around looking for nuts.

This is the first time I’ve seen a pine marten in the garden although I’ve suspected they were about as my neighbour has seen them in her garden.

Edit to add a little information re numbers and distribution.

According to The Mammal Society the number and spread of martens have made a significant recovery in the 20th century. Until the 19th Century, pine martens were found throughout much of mainland Britain, the Isle of Wight and some of the Scottish islands. Habitat fragmentation, persecution by gamekeepers and martens being killed for their fur, drastically reduced this distribution. By 1926, the main pine marten population in Britain was restricted to a small area of north-west Scotland, with small numbers in N Wales and the Lake District. Martens have now increased their range in Scotland, and now occur throughout the Highlands, north of the Central Belt.

The pine marten remains one of the rarest native mammals in Great Britain, with a total population of around 3-4,000, but Ireland probably also has as many.

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9 comments on “A new garden visitor

    • No, not common and usually pretty elusive. They’re usually out and about at dusk or night and it’s unusual for them to be so bold in the bright daylight (in this case 8am).

    • I’m currently deciding where the best place will be to site a wee feeding platform to give us the best views and ensure it is visited by the pine marten. And experimenting with the best time to put out food. The pine marten (or something) is certainly getting well fed at the moment. because for the past 3 weeks eldest son’s girlfriend has brought home left-over chicken and ham (too much for us to use totally) from the carvery at her work.

  1. A stunning record Sheila, I’ve only seen a roadkill victim, which is a great tragedy. If you wish to feed them consider the following “I tamed the pine marten, Mickey, and he became a regular visitor to the bird table to eat his favourite titbit – bread and raspberry jam. Despite the marten’s reputed appetite for small mamels the voles which lived under the table remained unmolested”

    From: Out of the Wild by Mike Tomkies (a man who knows)!

    What next? regards, Freddie.

    • Last night I put left-over cooked ham under the bird feeders and that had gone this morning as had the scraps I threw under the hedge. I don’t know if this was taken by badgers, fox or pine marten, but the ham I put on a wooden board on top of the firewood store was untouched. I’m going to try jam sandwiches on the board on the roof of wood store tonight.

  2. Pingback: The pine marten returns | Rambling on…

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