Britain’s Bison is back: The long-lost giant bison will now roam Kent, in a new rewilding program that features a bull from Germany.

  • To combat the climate crisis, bison were introduced to a British forest.
  • European animals can weigh up to 1 ton, and they have been extinct here for over 6,000 years
  • This is part of a £1.2million project to ‘rewild’ Britain, slowing global warming

Wild bison will be released into the Kent countryside today as part of a £1.2million project to ‘rewild’ Britain and help slow global warming.

These huge creatures, which can weigh over one tonne, are gone in the United States since 6,000 years.

Now it is hoped the European bison will help to revitalise ancient woodland and create an ‘explosion of biodiversity’. 

Home on the range: Conservationists say a bison was photographed at Wildwood Trust, near Canterbury in Kent. The bison were being introduced to an ancient British forest to combat the climate crisis.

Pictured: A herd of bison are seen in Yellowstone National Park, Montana

Pugh cartoon

Yellowstone National Park in Montana, left: Bison herds.

The ‘Aryan’ animal loved by Nazis

  • The First World War German soldiers killed 600 Polish bisons in Poland to eat meat and sport, causing a major blow to European bison.
  • Poachers killed the last wild bison at the border of Poland and Belarus in 1927.
  • There were 50 remaining zoo animals, so eventually, their offspring allowed for reintroductions to Germany, Poland, and Romania.
  • Hermann Goering was the Nazi’s chief airforce officer. He thought of bisons as noble Aryan animals. His small herd lived near Berlin.
  • The homosexual behavior of bison is a common trait. Mountings tend to consist of young men with the same gender as 55 percent.


Initially, one male and three female bison – a bull from Germany, a matriarch from Scotland and two youngsters from Ireland – are being introduced. They are expected to breed in the future and create a herd.

The European bison – the continent’s largest land mammal – are a close relative of the type that once roamed the UK, the extinct steppe bison. These bison are smaller than those of the American bison but they’re more heavy- and aggressive.

The animals are known as ‘eco-system engineers’, creating muddy ponds, pushing down trees and disturbing the soil to help plants and other animals thrive.

They will be put in large, fenced-off enclosures at West Blean Woods and Thornden Woods near Canterbury. Donovan Wright, who will look after their welfare in the former commercial pine plantation, said: ‘You get this ricochet effect through the ecosystem, so many species are able to benefit.’

Paul Whitfield, director-general of the Wildwood Trust, which is leading the project with the Kent Wildlife Trust, said: ‘They will create an explosion of biodiversity and build habitat resilience, locking in carbon to help reduce temperature rise. This will act as a huge catalyst for change.’

Evan Bowen-Jones, chief executive of Kent Wildlife Trust, added: ‘We need to revolutionise the way we restore natural landscapes – relying less on human intervention and more on natural engineers such as bison, boar and beaver.’