Archaeological evidence, historic literature, place names and folk belief suggests that the European beaver was once a widespread English species. They were hunted to extinction by humans for their valuable fur, meat, body oils and scent glands but may have survived in England until 1789. The living activities of beavers increase the biodiversity value of wetlands for plants, insects, fish, amphibians, birds, and mammals.
A trail release of beavers took place at Knapdale Forest in Argyll in 2008 – full details and latest news can be found at the official website.
A detailed feasibility study has been published; copies of the reports are available from the Natural England website.
Gurnell, J., Gurnell, A. M., Demeritt, D., Lurz, P. W. W., Shirley, M. D. F., Rushton, S. P., Faulkes, C. G., Nobert, S. & Hare, E. J. 2008. The Feasibility and Acceptability of Reintroducing the European Beaver to England. . p. 106. Sheffield, UK: Natural England/People’s Trust for Endangered Species, Sheffield, UK.
PTES digest of the feasibility and acceptability of reintroducing the European beaver to England
A detailed feasibility study has been produced.