The Welsh Beaver Project

Since 2005 The Welsh Beaver Project led by The Wildlife Trusts in Wales has been investigating the feasibility of reintroducing wild beavers back into Wales.

How You Can Help

The Welsh Beaver Project is currently fundraising to ensure the return of beavers to the Welsh landscape. You can help reintroduce beavers back into Wales by supporting the project via our donation page or by purchasing yourself an #ILoveWelshBeaver mug.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About The Eurasian Beaver
The Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) is native to Wales with a distribution that extends from Britain across Europe and into China and Mongolia. Adult beavers are usually around 1.3m long (including tail) and weigh about 20kg. They live in small family groups on slow moving rivers, streams and lakes within bank-side burrows or in lodges that they build from sticks and mud. They sometimes also build dams to improve their habitat, but usually only where water is less than 0.7m in depth. Over 98% of beaver activity occurs within 20m of the water’s edge.

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.

The Welsh Beaver Project
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. The Welsh Beaver Project has been investigating the suitability of potential release sites across Wales.

The decision by the Scottish Government to formally recognise the Eurasian beaver as a native species and Environment Secretary, Michael Gove’s recent announcement to back the release of beavers to the Forest of Dean has been welcomed by The Wildlife Trusts in Wales. This will have positive implications for reintroducing beavers to Wales.

Alicia Leow-Dyke, The Welsh Beaver Project Officer says, "The Welsh Beaver Project is now working with a partner organisation and a licence application is now with Natural Resources Wales who are currently assessing it. We’re hoping to carry out a reintroduction as soon as possible and need funding in order to do this. There is more work to do, including preparing sites, training volunteers, developing opportunities for education and recreation, as well as sourcing, checking and releasing beavers; the list goes on. We now need a final push to get our beavers back home - that’s where the mugs come in."

Article by Alicia Leow-Dyke; The Welsh Beaver Project Officer.

This project is supported by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.