Once hunted to extinction but now thriving, recent reintroductions of the beaver have proven a huge success. Experts have been hailing the positive effects that the reintroduction of the beaver has created and as Martin De Retuerto, Director of Projects and Services at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust suggests, the benefits give further probability to future reintroductions of other native species.
Martin said “I’m encouraged (& relieved) to read the findings of this important trial. We’ve known for a long time that beavers are an integral piece of the jigsaw, driving the function of entire ecosystems and bringing life with them. Experience from Europe and increasingly in the UK, is proving that the return of this missing species can be integrated into a modern working landscape where the benefits to people massively outweigh the impacts. The scientific findings by Exeter University is compelling, demonstrating flood risk protection, water quality improvements and staggering increases in associated wildlife, including fisheries.
Working with local people is critical and we are seeking to learn from the approaches by other Wildlife Trusts, such as Devon and Cornwall. It has worked in Europe where positive engagement and land management support has ensured that the return of the beaver is seen as an asset and something that becomes a new norm to the next generation.
At a time of a biodiversity crisis, but especially the climate emergency, we’ve seen the positive role that beavers provide in installing climate resilience to entire landscapes in north America and Europe and the time is right to start implementing management strategies and embracing beaver as an integral part of the UK’s fauna. As quoted recently “if you don’t already have beavers, ask why not?”
More information on the beaver reintroduction can be found here.