Plans to introduce beavers into the Forest of Dean in the west of England gain approval
Plans to release two adult beavers and two young into a 6.5 ha enclosure to alleviate flooding in the village of Lydbrook have been approved by Natural England (NE) and backed by the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove (GOV.UK). The beavers will be released in the spring of 2018. Michael Gove said, “The beaver has a special place in English heritage and the Forest of Dean proposal is a fantastic opportunity to help bring this iconic species back to the countryside 400 years after it was driven to extinction. The community of Lydbrook has shown tremendous support for this proposal and the beavers are widely believed to be a welcome addition to local wildlife.” This could lead to the consideration by NE of further applications for similar releases. As well as flood defence, the beavers in the Forest of Dean should bring wider benefits such as to local biodiversity. The Forestry Commission is funding the project and will carry out monitoring studies after the release. The Forest of Dean project has been widely covered in the media, e.g. BBC News, Huffpost, The Guardian, Green Party, South West Farmer, MRCVS Online). Most people support the project although caution has been expressed in some quarters about the possible impacts of wild beavers on farmland and the physical environment (e.g. National Farmers Union).
Posted on December 13, 2017 at 10:03 am
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