Beavers return to the Forest of Dean in the West of England

Forest of Dean

Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, released two beavers into a 6.5 ha enclosure in the Forest of Dean today. It is hoped that the activities of the beavers on the Greathough Brook will allay flooding that tends to occur in the village of Lydbrook. Michael Gove said, “The beaver has a special place in English heritage and the Forest of Dean. This release is a fantastic opportunity to develop our understanding of the potential impacts of reintroductions and help this iconic species, 400 years after it was driven to extinction. The community of Lydbrook has shown tremendous support for this scheme and the beavers will be a welcome addition to local wildlife. The project is an example of our wider approach to enhancing biodiversity. It is another step towards our aim of leaving the environment in a better state for future generations.”  The Forest is run by Forestry Commission England and funding towards the project has been obtained from Gloucestershire Environmental Trust and Forest Holidays. A team of hydrologists from the University of Exeter led by Prof. Richard Brazier has already been monitoring the hydrology of the Brook for over a year, and will continue their work to study the effects of beaver dams on flooding – this will be a unique natural experiment.

River Otter Beaver Trial (ROBT)

At the same time today, DEFRA announced £20,000 of funding for the ROBT, led by the Devon Wildlife Trust, to understand the possible impact of reintroducing beavers more widely in England.

Press coverage: GOV.UK, BBC News, The Guardian, Independent, Telegraph, Gloucestershire Live, Forest of Dean Review, iNews, Mail Online, Sunday Express

Posted on July 24, 2018 at 5:23 pm

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