Cumbria Beaver Group welcomes consultation on beavers
Cumbria Beaver Group welcomes Natural England's announcement today of an Open Consultation on Beaver Rreintroduction and Management in England.
We are committed to supporting the reintroduction of Eurasian beavers to the county, where they will bring benefits to biodiversity and people. This news is a positive step toward the return of this native, keystone species, and we will continue to offer advice and guidance to the community during the consultation phase.
The legal protection of beavers in England will be a great support in encouraging the natural dispersal of beavers where they are already free-living in other parts of the country.
We agree with Natural England that species reintroductions should be undertaken in a responsible manner meeting statutory guidelines, but it is right for us to bring back important native species that are missing from our landscapes because of hunting in the past.
All of the evidence gathered in the Devon and Scotland beaver trials, as well as the enclosed trials here in Cumbria, demonstrates that the benefits beavers bring outweigh the disadvantages – there are no substantial reasons why this missing species should not be permitted to re-establish itself across England and in Cumbria. We believe that with local support on the ground, any negative impacts that beavers bring can be managed and resolved.
Any future wild releases will require community and landowner consultation on a catchment scale, ensuring long-term management and survival. To ensure the return of beavers as a free-living wild species can be successful on a landscape scale, we encourage all those with a view to contribute to the consultation and share their views.
The consultation will run for 12 weeks (until 17 November) and we encourage everyone to take part. The consultation can be found here
Some beaver facts
- Beavers are native to Britain but were wiped out in the 16th century, mainly due to hunting.
- Beavers are completely vegetarian and do NOT eat fish.
- Beavers can provide a range of environmental and socio-economic benefits. These include flood risk alleviation, improved water quality, habitat creation for other wildlife and increase revenue for the local economy through nature-based tourism.
If you would like to find out more about beavers, please contact Cumbria Beaver Group by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @CumbriaBeavers.
Cumbria Beaver Group is made up of Cumbria Wildlife Trust, RSPB, Lowther Estates and Eden Rivers Trust and is working in consultation with Natural England, the Environment Agency, United Utilities, Forestry England, the University of Cumbria and others.