Support a national beaver strategy

Beavers are back! Help them stay

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With the help of conservation groups like ours, beavers are returning to Britain’s waterways after being hunted to extinction around 400 years ago. 

It’s time to get strategic

These amazing, native herbivores are truly nature’s engineers, and they play a major role in helping nature to recover. We want them to have a secure future, so it’s important a beaver strategy for England is published soon. 

Studies show beavers make our streams, rivers and wetland habitats better for both wildlife and people. They provide new homes for all sorts of native wildlife like dragonflies, otters, and water voles. They also make positive changes to the landscape, help improve water quality, reduce flooding and lock up carbon – in turn, helping to tackle climate change.

To give them a secure future we need a clear beaver strategy for England. Any delay will put those beavers already living amongst us at risk.

And without a national strategy, plans to bring beavers back in other parts of England - including the Isle of Wight and Derbyshire – can’t progress.

Centuries ago, the beaver was hunted into extinction. But their place in our ecosystem – and our society - has always been critical. They belong here and we need to make their future as safe as possible!

Show your support 

We know people care about these amazing animals – help us make sure the Government knows it too. Please back our call for a national strategy, so beavers can come back for good!

We’d also love to hear why restoring native species and repairing habitats matters to you, too.

Why beavers? Read more >>

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."

Don't dam our beavers!

Please publish a beaver strategy for England

The Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) is proving just what a valuable force these wonderful mammals can be. Their extraordinary ability to naturalise landscapes, improving them for wildlife, enhancing water quality and controlling water flow makes them a vital component of a modern approach to land management. People love beavers and their presence has really boosted tourism in the places where they’ve been reintroduced.  

So it's very important an ambitious beaver strategy for England is published soon: this needs to be done with the right management and support systems put in place.

This is a turning point in history; beavers have a fundamental role to play in tackling the biodiversity and climate crises. It's time to look forward and set out a clear vision for the return of these industrious, important animals. 

Keep in touch!

We’d love to keep in contact with you about the work of The Wildlife Trusts and other ways that you can get involved, across the UK and in your local area. Please let us know what contact you’d like to receive by ticking the appropriate box(es) below.

Nature scene in silhouette