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Devon Beaver Project
Why a beaver project?Beavers are a vital missing link in the UK’s ecosystem and the wetland environment is suffering from the loss of beaver activity. In principle we support the EU’s call for governments to reintroduce lost endemic species and note that England is one of the few remaining countries not to reintroduce beavers.
However we have no specific plans to reintroduce the beaver into the wild in Devon. We would in principle like to see this come to pass but recognise that a great deal of work would need to be done before it could happen in practice.
The main aim of this project is experimentation and fact finding. It is thought that the beavers will greatly enhance the wetland value of the site and they will in effect be used as a conservation management tool for three years, much as cattle and ponies are. They will be removed from the site once the project is complete.
At the same time, DWT will be developing techniques for measuring the impact the beavers have on the hydrology, biology and water chemistry of the site.
DWT has kept the statutory authorities fully informed of its intentions and has complied with all of their stated requirements.
The siteThe site which has been chosen is a self contained 2.8 hectare plot which has been securely fenced in order to contain two beavers. This site is privately owned and located in northern Devon.
DWT has carried out baseline monitoring before introducing the beavers and we will measure changes in the biodiversity, water quality and other impacts. At the end of the project the results will be fed into the England Beaver Reintroduction Forum.
Can we visit the site?
To ensure disturbance is minimised and for safety reasons, access to the site will be by invitation only. You can see the video below which was taken on their first day on site in March 2011.
Visit the Beaver Blog
Get regular updates on the beavers progress and activties. Visit the Blog here