Research and Evidence for beaver re-introduction

Research and Evidence

University of Exeter V-notch weir monitoring flow and water quality at Enclosed Beaver Project site

Research and evidence behind beaver re-introduction

The restoration of Eurasian beavers into the English landscape has been spearheaded by work carried out in Devon. 

The decision to allow the return of this iconic wetland species has been based on the detailed scientific evidence gathered by the DWT team, working closely with researchers at the University of Exeter.

On this page, you can find reports on the research carried out as part of the River Otter Beaver Trial to assess the impacts of wild beavers throughout the catchment, along with evidence on management of potential conflicts between different uses of the landscape by beavers and humans.

The River Otter Beaver Trial Science and Evidence Report

Click below to read the River Otter Beaver Trial Science and Evidence Report.

River Otter Beaver Trial annual reports

In 2020 we produced the fifth and final ROBT annual report

Read the 2020 River Otter Beaver Trial annual report

Previous annual reports can be found at the foot of this page.

Beavers - Nature's Water Engineers

In 2017, a report was produced by DWT and the University of Exeter summarising the research from the Enclosed Beaver Project site.

Read the 'Beavers - Nature's Water Engineers' report

beaver with kits

Mike Symes

Reintroducing this ecosystem engineer to our heavily modified landscape doesn’t come without challenges.  DWT’s pragmatic advice and expertise with practical management has been vital in helping gain acceptance of this species once again.

As part of this work, DWT consulted with a wide range of experts and stakeholders to produce The Beaver Management Strategy Framework (BMSF). This was developed to outline how the beavers on the River Otter would be managed for the next 10 years if they were permitted to remain.

Beaver Management Strategy Framework for River Otter

The full BMSF document and supporting appendices can be found below.

Beaver Management Strategy Framework for River Otter (with Appendices)

Beaver Management Strategy Framework for River Otter

Appendix 1: Background to the River Otter Beaver Trial

Appendix 2: Developing a Beaver Management Strategy Framework for the River Otter (post 2020)

Appendix 3: Beaver Ecology and Key Factors Informing Future Management

Appendix 4: International Perspectives

Appendix 5: Assessment of Likely Risks

Appendix 5a: Risk Assessment

Appendix 6: Governance Structures

Appendix 7: Beaver Management Strategy

Appendix 8: Considerations Regarding Legal Protection

Appendix 9: Outstanding Issues to be Resolved

Appendix 10: Key Literature, Resources and Glossary

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