Beaver reintroduction needs your help
News / 14th September 2016
The Welsh Beaver Project needs your help for the final push!
Beavers, once native to Britain, have been extinct for hundreds of years but The Welsh Beaver Project, which is managed by the Wildlife Trusts in Wales, is working to get beavers reintroduced to Wales within the next two years. The project is investigating a number of sites across Wales and conservation staff have visited beaver reintroduction projects within Britain and Europe, including Bavaria, where beavers were first reintroduced in the 1960s.
Beavers are natural managers of wetland ecosystems and are often referred to as ‘ecosystem engineers’, because of the benefits they have on the environment and other species, including humans. Through their activities, beavers can provide habitats for a range of different species from fungi to invertebrates, fish, mammals and birds. The creation of beaver dams can trap sediment and help filter water, which reduces the amount of pollution entering rivers and help increase the retention rate of water in times of floods and assist with the flow of water in times of drought.
Beavers were released in Scotland in 2009 as part of the Scottish Beaver Trial, and more recently the Devon Wildlife Trust recently released another pair of beavers into the River Otter as part of the beaver reintroduction trial in England, which started in 2015. The Welsh Beaver Project wants to ensure Wales gets its beavers back, and now needs public support to make this happen.
Donations to the Welsh Beaver Project will help key aspects of the programme, including selecting and preparing reintroduction sites, developing a comprehensive licence application, planning and undertaking monitoring, training and equipping volunteers, developing opportunities for education and recreation, as well as sourcing, checking and releasing the beavers.
Alicia Leow-Dyke, Welsh Beaver Project Officer, said:
“Obviously beavers are wonderful creatures, but their activities also benefit many other animals and plants, and beaver dams help to clean water and reduce downstream flooding, which is very much needed as we witness the unpredictability of our weather systems due to climate change.”
“As well as this, beaver reintroduction could provide a real boost for the tourism industry in Wales and we very much hope that people will support this exciting and important project.”
You can help reintroduce beavers back into Wales by supporting the project via our donation page.
Alicia’s post is fully funded thanks to support from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.