Today, Cors Dyfi is a lowland peat bog – an extremely important habitat in Wales – but it was once used as a conifer plantation. Due to the difficult residual terrain of former forestry ditches and tree stumps, managing areas of the reserve using traditional methods, such as coppicing by hand, is all-but impossible. Over the years, Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust have therefore been considering a range of alternative management options, including water buffalo. In more recent years, beavers – often referred to as ‘ecosystem engineers’ and well known for their amazing ability to manage wetland habitats – have come to the fore as an ideal solution.
For the last two years, the Welsh Beaver Project, led by North Wales Wildlife Trust on behalf of all the Wildlife Trusts in Wales, have been assisting Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust with their plans by applying for a licence to release beavers on site and funding an enclosure. A public consultation was held by Natural Resources Wales last autumn and received overwhelming public support, especially from Wildlife Trust members and supporters – thank you! At last, a licence has now been issued – so beavers are currently being sourced from Scotland and, following health screening, will soon be on their way to Wales. They’ll be given time to settle into their new environment and, in due course, visitors to the reserve will be able to see what they have been up to.
Finally, whilst the arrival of the Cors Dyfi beavers is undoubtedly an exciting time, this is by no means the end of the Welsh Beaver Project. We will be continuing with our proposals for a managed beaver reintroduction into the wild and, in due course, Natural Resources Wales will again run a public consultation before a decision is made. We have no doubt that we’ll need your help once more and will certainly be asking all our supporters to respond to the consultation when it occurs – please get your voices and keyboards ready!
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