Return of the Beaver (Lacey Lecture 2017)

Tickets available here to purchase (Venue Cymru, Llandudno - Friday 17th November).

Iolo Williams supports the Welsh Beaver Project and so can you. Watch the video now and buy your tickets for ‘Return of the Beaver’ at Venue Cymru, Friday 17 November.

The Welsh Beaver Project is working to reintroduce wild beavers (Castor fiber) back into the Welsh landscape. This work has been led by the Wildlife Trusts in Wales as part of their Living Landscapes strategy and is being delivered in partnership with other organisations.

Why reintroduce beavers to Wales? Beavers were once widespread across Wales, but due to hunting by man for their fur, meat and scent glands they became extinct around the Middle Ages. Work to re-establish beavers in Wales is taking place because of the important role they can play in enriching biodiversity and helping to restore and manage wetland areas. Beavers are known as a ‘keystone species’ because their activities benefit a wide range of other animals and plants that live in wetland habitats. Beaver activity can also help to improve water quality, regulate flow, alleviate downstream flooding, stabilise water tables and reduce erosion in rivers. As people like to see beavers they can also benefit tourism, helping to support local economies.

Are there any problems associated with beavers? Beavers bring many benefits to wildlife and people. They have been successfully reintroduced in over 25 countries across Europe without major issues, but they can sometimes cause local problems that require management, such as dam construction in the wrong place, or the unwanted felling of trees. There are well-established simple solutions to these issues that can be undertaken at very low cost.

Where would beavers be released? Wales has abundant habitat to support beavers and we have identified many potential release sites. These include enclosed sites where beavers would be used to undertake targeted habitat management. We are currently focusing on potential release sites in the western parts of Wales but are also considering sites in North Wales including a reintroduction to the River Glaslyn and an enclosure at Big Pool Wood Nature Reserve to help with reserve management

Iolo Williams supports the Welsh Beaver Project! Watch the video here…



To show your support for beaver reintroduction, why not come along to ‘Return of the Beaver’ on Friday 17 November, 6.30pm at Venue Cymru, Llandudno. (This is NWWT’s annual Lacey Lecture.) Early bird tickets are £10 from your local branch or the NWWT Bangor office or direct from Venue Cymru booking office (01492 872000) at £12.  

A brief history

The annual Lacey Lecture, presented by the Wildlife Trust is a tradition which has been going for over 15 years. It is in memory of Professor William Lacey, known by everyone as ‘Bill’ Lacey. For those who may not know of him, he was a prominent figure in the Botany Department of University College North Wales in Bangor, where he achieved great academic distinction and international standing in palaeobotany. He was also an inspirational teacher and a practical man when it came to conservation.

Bill Lacey took a keen and active interest in the natural history of his surroundings, and inspired many others to do likewise. Together with a small group of friends and colleagues, he helped establish the North Wales Naturalists’ Trust in 1963 to acquire Cors Goch, an Anglesey fen that had been saved from use as a landfill site. He became the Trust’s first Secretary, was 14 years our Chairman and then our President.

He was an academic, teacher and practical conservationist of great skill and dedication and the Trust is grateful to Bill and to his family for the time and energy they have given to wildlife.

Amazing speakers since 2001

2016 Trevor Dines
2015 Nick Baker
2014 Nigel Brown
2013 Chris Baines
2012 Natasha de Vere
2011 Mike Dilger
2010 Graham Harvey
2009 Callum Roberts
2008 Brent Elliot
2007 Paul Evans
2006 Michael Leach
2005 Aubrey Manning
2004 Jill Attenborough
2003 Iolo Williams
2002 Chris Baines
2001 Robert Swan


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