Let's kick off with a date for your diary: The 7th April is International Beaver Day and as such a chance to raise awareness of the wonders of beavers and the organisations working to help them.
What are the benefits of beavers?
Beavers are known as ecosystem engineers for their abilities – they are so effective that the UK’s Beaver Trust says they have been proposed “as a tool for implementing the EU Water Framework Directive”! Beavers, say the Trust, instinctively know what to do. “Beavers breathe life back into our waters.” The Trust has an illustration showing how effective the animals are in one to three years here. There’s a map to show where beavers are in the UK here, both wild populations and those in enclosed areas.
How can beavers help?
- Beaver dams and ponds filter out pollutants so they help clean water
- The channels and wetland habitats and dams that they create hold water back – and release it more slowly after a bout of heavy rain which prevents flooding further downstreaam
- Their ponds hold water, very useful for periods of drought for wildlife and also for people, including farmers
- Beaver ponds provide nurseries for fish, amphibians and invertebrates and homes for fish and wildlife. Clearings fill with wild flowers, attracting insects and birds
- Beaver ponds can act as firebreaks
- They can help keep rivers and streams wet all year with the dams and ponds they create
Organisations working to help beavers include:
Beaver Trust in the UK and it is a nature restoration charity working to bring beavers back to Britain and to make space for nature. It finds ways to make space for beavers and their wetlands and to help stakeholders to live alongside beavers and wetlands.
The Wildlife Trusts have a number of beaver projects and you can see a list of them and find out more her
Rewilding Britain say the Eurasian beaver is “Nature’s busy aquatic architect is a formidable tree feller, river changer and wetland creator”