The five-year study was commissioned to re-introduce beavers native to the UK
Today, UK Environment Minister, Pow hailed the success of a five-year beaver trial on the River Otter in Devon, recognizing its benefits to the local area and ecology.
First licensed for release into the River Otter by the Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) in 2015, two family groups of beavers have now successfully bred and dispersed throughout the catchment with up to 15 territories and 28 dams.
Thanks to the hard work of the Devon Wildlife Trust and their partners, the River Otter beavers reintroduction trial has proven highly successful – improving biodiversity and water quality, mitigating flooding and making the local landscape more resilient to climate change.” said Environment Minister Rebecca Pow
The five-year trial has bought a wealth of benefits to the local area and ecology, including enhancing the environment at a local wildlife site, creating wetland habitat and reducing flood risk for housing downstream.
They will now be allowed to remain there permanently and continue to expand their range naturally, finding new areas to settle as they need.
Today’s confirmation of the successful completion of the trial follows assessment by Natural England and consideration by Ministers of a recent report undertaken by the University of Exeter and partners on a five-year study into the impact of beavers into the wild in England.
As outlined in our 25 Year Environment Plan, the government is committed to providing opportunities for the reintroduction of formerly native species, such as beavers, where there are clear benefits, as part of wider efforts to leave the environment in a better state for generations to come.
Beavers were once native to Britain but were hunted to extinction around 400 years ago.