Bringing Beavers Back to Wales

Bringing Beavers Back to Wales

Nick Upton/Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Helping nature recover in Wales

 

Beavers are known for their amazing ability to manage wetland habitats, breathing new life into them for the benefit of wildlife and people.

The Welsh Beaver Project has been investigating the feasibility of bringing wild beavers back to Wales since 2005. This work is being led by North Wales Wildlife Trust on behalf of all five Wildlife Trusts in Wales as part of our Living Landscapes strategy and we now hope to undertake a managed reintroduction to Wales.

After many months of planning and discussions we finally saw the arrival of beavers at Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust’s Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve in March 2021!

On Friday 26th March the first part of a family group, father and son arrived and were released in the enclosure by Iolo Williams, Naturalist and Television Presenter. The mother soon re-joned the male pair and the family are settling well in their new home.

The road to reintroduction

Feasibility studies were undertaken in 2008 and a licence application submitted to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) for a managed reintroduction of beavers onto the River Dyfi. This is a 5-year pilot to monitor the effects of beavers in the wild in Wales. We have established a Beaver Management Network as part of our proposals and this includes setting up a network of beaver volunteers who will be on-hand to deal with any problems caused by beavers so that we can all enjoy the benefits that beavers bring.

Why are beavers important for wetlands?

Beavers were once widespread across the Wales, but due to over hunting by humans for their fur, meat and scent glands they became extinct after the Middle Ages in Wales and by the end of the 16th Century they were extinct from the rest of Britain.

Beavers are very special animals because they play a vital role in enriching biodiversity by restoring and managing river and wetland ecosystems. They are known as a ‘keystone species’ because their activities can benefit a wide range of other animals and plants that live in rivers and wetlands:

  • Beaver dams and habitats can reduce flood risk
  • Beavers create wetland habitats that help wildlife
  • Beavers help people by improving water quality

Find out more about the benefits beavers can bring for us and our natural world from our Welsh Beaver Project Officer, Alicia Leow-Dyke, in the short video below.

North Wales Wildlife Trust