The Wildlife Trusts have pioneered the reintroduction of beavers to Britain ever since Kent Wildlife Trust released these industrious creatures into a fenced area of fenland in 2001. Then followed the Scottish Beaver Trial, which saw the first ever reintroduction of a native extinct mammal to the British Isles since they were hunted to extinction over 400 years ago. Later, in 2015, the River Otter Beaver Trial, based in East Devon and led by Devon Wildlife Trust, enabled beavers to roam wild again in England.
Beavers are back, but their future is not secure. The Wildlife Trusts are calling for a Beaver Strategy for England which would provide a roadmap for a future where:
- There are more beavers in many more catchments
- Beaver populations are healthy and thriving
- Management frameworks are agreed which provide support for farmers, landowners and river users
- Beaver impacts and their population health are scientifically monitored