Devon's Beavers

Thanks to legacies given to The Wildlife Trusts, wild beavers are successfully breeding in the English landscape after an absence of 400 years. Beavers are a great addition to our landscape because they are brilliant at creating wetland habitats which can prevent flooding further downstream.

In 2016, Devon Wildlife Trust were delighted to announce the birth of the first wild baby beavers in England for centuries. Tom Buckley captured the fabulous footage of the beaver and her kits. He said: “When I saw these new born baby beavers (kits) I was totally overwhelmed and thought it must be a miracle. My first sighting of this year’s new born kits was when I saw their mother swimming with one of them in her mouth to an area nearby where their father was waiting to greet them”.


Stirley Community Farm

Once an intensive upland dairy farm, Stirley Community Farm in West Yorkshire is now a thriving wildlife haven. With the support of legacies, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust were able to purchase and renovate the farm buildings which have been transformed to provide an award winning education centre and the 240 acres of farmland are now home to a growing herd of shorthorn cattle, well established food-growing training gardens, a small orchard, beehives and more. Wildlife continues to return to the farm and benefit the whole landscape.

The farm was transformed for the local community and there are many opportunities for people from around Huddersfield to get involved. Rachel Preston has been a regular community volunteer at Stirley Farm for over 12 months and she is known by staff for her cakes and supporting the team to prepare for group visits to the farm. Rachel previously worked as a school learning mentor and, despite loving her job, had to resign due to depression and anxiety and she became isolated from her local community. Volunteering at Stirley Community Farm has had a big impact on Rachel and she is now more able to confront her anxieties and feels that she has taken a step back into life.

“It’s changed my life, my personal confidence. It’s given me that oomph…It’s shown me that at some point I will get back to work…it has helped me on the journey to recovery.”


The Pumlumon Story

Imagine finding a whole new way of living in harmony with nature. A way that gives us more of the things we need - thriving local economies, beautiful landscapes, abundant wildlife, clean water, carbon storage; and less of the things we don't - urban flooding, species decline, soil erosion, faltering rural businesses. 

Supported by legacies, the Pumlumon Living Landscape Project demonstrates how upland landscapes in Britain could work. By helping local farmers, foresters and tourism businesses to do things differently, over time the whole landscape has come back to life. 

We have re-wetted bogs, connected existing habitats, improved flood water management, initiated Local Grazing Schemes, created new and restored existing habitat, improved access and engaged the local community – all thanks to legacy gifts. 

Golden Plover (c) Margaret Holland