Whitelands Species Spotlight! A guest blog by Eleanor Hampson. 

Polecat prints, found by our volunteer Matt Dell.

There is an exciting new resident at Whitelands. Our ink traps have revealed consistent polecat footprints throughout April and we are delighted. Our polecat has since been spotted in the plantation too and after leaving some scraps out we were able to capture this photo using our camera trap by the tree nursery. While it may not be the best shot, nonetheless it has been able to help us confirm the identity of our latest visitor.

Caught on Bruce’s camera… but it takes a careful eye to spot him!

Polecat’s were once so persecuted that they was on the brink of extinction in the UK. Thankfully, numbers are now increasing, particularly in rural Wales and parts of England. Their pre-breeding season population is estimated to be 63,000 and increasing.

Polecats set up home in marshes, along riverbanks, or even in farm buildings or dry stone walls but are particular fans of wooded habitats making Whitelands perfect.

Polecat’s are carnivores and eat a variety of rodents and rabbits. They hunt by night using a keen sense of smell to locate their prey.

What next? We will be keeping a keen eye out for our polecat and will keep you posted on his activity!