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Calls for government strategy to reintroduce beavers

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A beaver sits on a pile of wet leaves in a river
Beaver. Getty Images

There is coverage running in ITV News, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Yorkshire Post following calls from 60 conservation organisations, country estates, experts and campaigners for the government to commit to a strategy to reintroduce beavers to England this year.

In a letter led by the Beaver Trust, the government is also being urged to ensure there is no moratorium on the current system of licensing beaver release projects, and to speed up the application process.

A five-year project by Devon Wildlife Trust to study the role of the beavers on the River Otter – which concluded earlier this year – found that beavers can help reduce flooding through dam-building, improve water quality, create habitat for other wildlife, and boost the local economy through eco-tourism.

With the agreement of the Devon Wildlife Trust, Defra has taken the decision to extend the River Otter beaver trial until the 31 August 2020.

A Defra spokesperson said:

We are committed to reintroducing formerly native species, such as beavers, where there are clear environmental benefits.

Beavers have a special place in English heritage and can play a role in creating new havens for wildlife as well as boosting our natural biodiversity. We welcome applications for trial reintroductions of beavers where these benefits are clear.

Natural England is analysing the results of the Devon trial along with a range of other experiences with beavers across the UK and in other countries, to help to inform decisions on the status of beaver in England, including potential management and licensing approaches.

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  1. Comment by Dave Shaw posted on

    There is no need to set up trials. Every trial so far has shown that beavers are great for water quality and management, for ecosystems and that problems can be managed easily. Please,Defra pull your fingers out and get working on a positive reintroduction on a national scale. The people want it and the environment needs it.

  2. Comment by Jane posted on

    Stop killing the badgers would be nice too!!!

  3. Comment by Maureen Hutchison posted on

    Is it possible to see posts submitted by other people? I thought you used to be able to but now I cannot see any.I notice there is an option to be emailed if anyone replies. To your comment so there must be some was of seeing comments