• My submission to Natural England on keeping England’s only wild beavers on the Otter

    15th January 2015 | News | Claire
  • I believe that the trial will provide an excellent opportunity to monitor a healthy community of beavers living in the wild, and to assess the consequences and impacts of a wild community of beavers on a river system.

    My understanding is that the animals’ activity will assist with improvements to water quality, biodiversity of flora and fauna, and is likely to reduce flood risk throughout the river catchment because of increased water storage. Such a study would allow scientific consideration of any benefits or disadvantages of a community of beavers existing in the wild.

    I note that the Scottish trial on the River Tay, has returned some very positive results.

    I understand that the River Otter beaver community is the only community of beavers living in the wild anywhere in England, so this a unique opportunity to study their behavior and their impact, which I believe will be positive, although there may be some negative localized impacts.

    I support very strongly the issue of a licence to permit the trial reintroduction of beavers on the River Otter.

    There is widespread support amongst the community for the reintroduction of beavers into the River Otter, with some landowners being particularly supportive. There is already evidence that the local economy has benefitted as a result of people visiting Ottery St Mary because of the presence of beavers.

    There is very strong support – and much excitement – from local young children at beavers being resident on the River Otter. There is a very real opportunity here to stimulate the interest of children in their environment, and to encourage them to cherish and respect the precious environment in and around the River Otter.

    Beavers existed in harmony with humans and other wildlife in this country for millennia before being hunted to extinction about 500 years ago.  It is now time to put that right I believe that we have a responsibility to do so.

    I hope that Natural England will grant the licence to Devon Wildlife Trust and we can all look forward to a healthy population of beavers living on the Otter for years to come.