Rewilding the UK: -

Eurasian Beaver reintroduction for north-west England has been given a green light

The Eurasian #beaver (Castor fiber), a large herbivore, is a mammal that was formerly native to the UK, playing an important part in our landscape from prehistoric times until it was hunted to extinction in the 16th century for its fur, meat and scent glands.

Eurasian beavers eat mainly aquatic plants, grasses, ferns and shrubs, but at other times, woody species form the major part of their diet.

They live in family groups with an average of about five individuals, comprising adults, kits and yearlings.

Females produce a single litter of one to six kits per year (average about 3).

Eurasian beavers...

  • are easiest to see in daylight between May & September

  • are semi-aquatic, mostly active at dawn and dusk, and do not hibernate.

The loss of the Eurasian Beaver led to loss of the mosaic of...

  • lakes,

  • meres,

  • mires,

  • tarns and

  • boggy places

...that they so brilliantly built.

Why are we bringing back the Eurasian beaver?

No it isn't just about the reintroduction of the Eurasian beaver - it's about the #reintroduction of an entire #ecosystem that's been lost.

Eurasian beavers are often referred to as 'ecosystem engineers'.

They make changes to their habitats, such as...

  • digging canal systems,

  • damming water courses, and

  • coppicing tree and shrub species

...which in turn creates diverse wetlands.

The resulting wetlands can also bring enormous benefits to other species, such as...

  • otters,

  • water shrews,

  • water voles,

  • water birds,

  • frogs

  • invertebrates (especially dragonflies) and

  • breeding fish.

Landscapes generated by the Eurasian beavers benefit both us and #wildlife...

  • they help to reduce downstream flooding - the channels, dams and wetland habitats that beavers create hold back water and release it more slowly after heavy rain