Beavers are being reintroduced in the UK after being hunted to extinction 400 years ago. A consultation launched by Defra on Wednesday 25 August is seeking views on the proposed approach to the further reintroduction and the management of the species in the wild in England. Widely referred to as ‘ecosystem engineers’, beavers can play a significant role in helping to restore nature to England by creating dams from trees, mud and rocks, which raise water levels, creating pools and wetland habitats which support the recovery of a wide range of native species. A five-year trial which ended last year in Devon proved hugely successful and saw beavers living on the River Otter, bringing a range of environmental benefits.
The 12-week consultation is seeking views on:
- Potential future releases into the wild
- Current and future releases into enclosures
- Mitigation and management of beaver activity or impacts in the wild, including the River Otter population and all other existing wild living beaver populations
Secretary of State George Eustice said:
“We are committed to providing opportunities to reintroduce formerly native species, such as beavers, where the benefits for the environment, people and the economy are clear.
Today marks a significant milestone for the reintroduction of beavers in the wild, with the launch of the Government’s consultation on our national approach and management of beavers in England.
But we also understand that there are implications for landowners, so we are taking a cautious approach to ensure that all potential impacts are carefully considered.”Visit consultation