Why do we need a strategy in England now?
Read our press release about our call for an England beaver strategy here.
It's important that a beaver strategy is published soon to clarify the legal status, licensing system and management framework for beavers.
Why do beavers need to be reintroduced at all?
The only reason why beavers are missing from the modern countryside is because of our past hunting for their fur, meat and scent glands. But this isn't just about bringing back a species. England's wetlands and their wildlife co-evolved with beavers over millennia. Beavers have the unique ability to change river habitats, slowing the flow and breathing new life into rivers and wetlands.
Their behaviour is often misunderstood, however. The ever-growing body of independent scientific evidence reveals the vast array of benefits the beaver can bring. Scientists stress that this single species is a powerful force helping our treasured wetlands to recover.
Read more about why we believe in beavers, and the amazing work beavers can do on our website.
What other benefits could beavers bring?
The six goals of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan - providing clean air, water, a thriving ecology, a reduced impact from natural events, to use resources from nature sustainably and to ensure ‘beauty, heritage and engagement’ with our natural environment - are all, in large part, entirely satisfied by the ecosystem engineering activities of the Eurasian beaver.
Support for beavers among local communities in all the Wildlife Trust-led beaver projects has been very strong, and media interest has been intense. Schools have found the beavers particularly engaging, and local businesses on the river Otter which has been running a project for several years have reported greater visitor numbers.
What does the Government say about this?
In a press release published on 15 May in response to the public interest our call has received, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) stated:
"Natural England is analysing the results of the Devon trial along with a range of other experiences with beavers across the UK and in other countries, to help to inform decisions on the status of beaver in England, including potential management and licensing approaches."