The need for artificial pine marten denning facilities in commercial forests was recognised by the Vincent Wildlife Trust (VWT) at the turn of the millennium. Populations of martens in Scotland were recovering slowly following heavy persecution in the 19th & 20th Centuries.  Over one million hectares of coniferous forest exist in Scotland and continue to grow in size with new markets in mind e.g. biofuels. Natural tree denning habitats can be rare in managed conifer forests where trees are grown on a short rotation for specific markets. The provision of den boxes can assist with marten conservation and population growth.  Of course, martens can be found in other habitats – some not so welcome by home owners when martens set up home in a roof void and peace is disturbed by their noisy activities.  A den box can provide the opportunity for martens to live in proximity to humans where they can be enjoyed and tolerated.

The presence of pine martens is often used to attract tourists to rental properties, some in remote places of great beauty in Scotland.  Again, provision of a den box can help with the conservation of the species and increase the chances of sightings of this once very rare mammal.



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