Welsh Beaver Project
Wednesday 1st February 2017
After an absence of over 500 years, a reintroduction of beavers to the wild in Wales finally looks set to become a reality this summer.
Since 2005 the Welsh Beaver Project, led by the Wildlife Trusts in Wales and managed from North Wales Wildlife Trust, has been investigating the feasibility of reintroducing beavers back to Wales for the many benefits they bring to wildlife, the environment and the economy.
Once found throughout Wales, the Eurasian beaver Castor fiber was hunted to extinction during medieval times for its fur, meat and scent organs. The Wildlife Trusts are keen to see this species return to the wild – beavers are excellent managers of wetland habitats and benefit a wide range of other species; whilst the habitats they create also help clean river water and reduce the risk of downstream flooding.
With funding from People’s Postcode Lottery we have been able to employ a full-time project officer, Alicia Leow-Dyke, based at Radnorshire Wildlife Trust, to progress the project. Working with a partner organisation, a licence application has been submitted to Natural Resources Wales for a release of beavers into a small catchment in South Wales during summer 2017. We are also investigating releasing beavers at sites in North Wales, including Big Pool Wood and The Spinnies/Aberogwen nature reserves, where they would be enclosed and used as a management tool to assist with habitat restoration and maintenance.
However – all this requires funding! If you want to see beavers returned to Wales, please consider supporting the Welsh Beaver Project’s work via this donation page: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/radnorshire-wildlifetrust/welshbeaverproject.
Want to find out more? Then get in touch with:
Adrian Lloyd Jones
Conservation Officer (East)/Welsh Beaver Project Manager