Yesterday it was announced that the beavers in the River Otter in Devon could stay permanently. DEFRA concluded that the beavers had benefited the area; reducing flood risk, increasing water quality, creating habitat for wildlife and even increasing local tourism. Now, there are beavers living wild in Devon, there will be talks later this year to discuss a national strategy to reintroduce Beavers back into other parts of the country.
It was a major victory for the Devon wildlife trust, who have been heavily involved in the return of beavers to England. Since the five year beaver trial began, they have; released more Beavers to increase genetic diversity, supported landowners with issues and educated the public about the benefits of beavers.
Hearing the brilliant news about the beavers in Devon, I decided to try and see them again. Today I visited the river in search of this elusive rodent and much to my delight there was a group of people crowding around a clearing of the trees watching one or two beavers. I sat down and it wasn’t very long before the familiar dark brown head and back of a beaver appeared from under some trees.
For the next fifteen minutes, I watched the beaver appear and disappear again and again. While I watched I saw that right where I was crouched, there was a willow tree with some branches that had been gnawed on by a beaver. Although it looks like severe damage, willows evolved alongside beavers and grow back quickly.
I did take a couple of videos of the beaver/beavers, but the light wasn’t brilliant and it/they were really quite far away so the camera wobbled lots. The video below is the only real footage that I could get and even then one of the videos is really dark. But ignoring the issues I had with my camera, it was a great experience and even better now I know they will always be there.