Today is 1st October and marks the day that beavers in England are now fully protected! New legislation makes it an offense to deliberately capture, kill, disturb, or injure beavers, or damage their breeding sites or resting places.
The timing is very appropriate as there’s been many successful beaver reintroductions across the UK in recent years and more license applications are being made, including our very own over on the Isle of Wight under the careful management of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. The HIWWT are working closely with Natural England to ensure the balance of beavers amongst our ecosystems creates as positive an impact as possible as we learn to live alongside these ‘nature engineers’ once again.
“The news that beavers are afforded legal protection in England is both appropriate and welcome. We have been very slow to recognise the critical role that this species delivers in the creation of complex wetland landscapes, which can afford resilience against the twin extremes of flood and drought. All they need from us to guarantee this goal is understanding, tolerance and space.” Derek Gow, a farmer turned re-natureing specialist.
For updates on the legislation of beaver management please see this article