The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire (BCN) have a plan (and with it, an appeal, so that they can make their plan happen).
They want to bring beavers back to Northamptonshire. It’s been over 400 years since beavers – a keystone species - were last seen there, and the Trust has been given permission to release a family group at the Delta Pit wetland, at the Nene Wetlands nature reserve.
The Beaver Trust visited the site and did a full feasibility study and identified the site as a suitable feeding site – it’s also quite away from the public. Furthermore, the site is a difficult one to manage, with breeding birds in summer and overwintering birds in winter, giving the Trust very limited time to do any work. so the beavers will be able to manage the habitat work for the Trust.
The beavers will be in a safe, enclosed area surrounding a lake. They are excellent eco-engineers, and have an excellent ability to create habitats that will benefit a whole range of animals.
The beavers will be busy restoring the wetland habitat – beavering away – and the humans have to do some work of their own beforehand, managing trees and constructing a fence. This fence is constructed and installed to an exact specification from Natural England – it follows a full site survey. That survey involves considering the risks, so that the Trust can make sure the beavers are safe and don’t escape. The stock gates are designed to an approved beaver-proof spec.
The beavers’ work should benefit wetland birds, creating more roosting and feeding habitat, and invertebrates and bats should benefit from it as well. The beavers will be doing what humans would be doing, but they will be doing it better (and the Trust themselves said that!)
One of the exciting things will be the monitoring of the site, to see how the beavers are doing and how their introduction and work is benefiting other species.
The public visiting the shopping centre next to the reserve will also benefit as they should be able to see the beavers when they visit!
The Trust has an appeal to raise £73,982 and you can donate to their Beaver Appeal here.