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Wild bison, absent from the United Kingdom for thousands of years, are being reintroduced to a forest near Canterbury, England to help restore the woods to their natural state.
The Wilder Blean project, a partnership of Wildwood Trust and Kent Wildlife Trust, is returning bison to the West Blean and Thornden Woods, a forest dominated by just a few species, namely pines from commercial tree plantations dating back to the 1970s. The bison will knock down trees and trample over shrubs, creating space for new plants to take hold. A greater diversity of flora will attract new insects, birds, and reptiles, and will also help the woods store more carbon, conservationists say.