Life on Land

Beavers Rewilded in the South Downs

The pair were released to support an important programme to rewild the area and improve biodiversity.

Two wild beavers relocated from Scotland have been released into the wilderness of Sussex to support rewilding of the South Downs landscape.  It is hoped they will become a breeding pair and begin to repopulate the area of a species that first became extinct in the 16th century due to hunting.

A large, 15-hectare enclosure was built for the first release of it’s kind by the National Trust in South East England, and the area will be monitored closely for changes to floodwater plains and biodiversity.

The programme follows the success of a similar programme on Exmoor in early 2020. By November, the Eurasian beavers had built the first dam on Exmoor in 400 years, creating an instant wetland and attracting new species such as kingfishers.

Beaver dam creates new natural streams, deep pools of water and vast wetland areas, and can also help to reduce flooding. As the landscape transforms, it creates new opportunities for wildlife and increased biodiversity.

The trust has not disclosed the exact location of the beavers to allow them the best chance of living a quiet, wild life.

Posted by Claire Edwards 30 March 2021

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