Europe

Beavers return to England after 400 years

Published 0954 GMT (1754 HKT) March 3, 2021
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RESTRICTED female beaver devonRESTRICTED female beaver devon
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Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) has worked to introduce wild beavers to England for the first time in 400 years. Mike Symes / Devon Wildlife Trust
Pink Tag, one of the first beavers released onto the River Otter in Devon, southwest England, with two of her kits. Mike Symes/Devon Wildlife Trust
Beavers build dams for protection, but the flooding can bring the animals into conflict with local landowners. This dam on the lower River Otter has flooded the neighboring farmland. Devon Wildlife Trust
A large part of DWT's job is to manage the relationship between beavers and landowners. Here they have installed a pipe, or "beaver deceiver," to drain flooded farmland while allowing the beaver to keeps its dam. Devon Wildlife Trust
As part of the River Otter Beaver Trial, specialists monitored the health of the wild beavers. Here they health screen a beaver caught in a DWT trap. Devon Wildlife Trust
The dams also regulate water flow, preventing floods downstream in times of heavy rainfall. Climate change is predicted to bring wetter winters to the UK. Flood water is seen in fields surrounding the village of Clyst St George, near Exeter, Devon, in November 2016. Matt Cardy/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
This willow tree has been gnawed by a beaver. The bark of the trees they fell is their primary source of food. Devon Wildlife Trust