The government has set a target for 75% of English rivers, lakes and streams to be classed as in ecological good health by 2027. However there has been no improvement since 2016; only 16% are currently rated “good”. Beavers are the force of nature that England’s broken wetlands and watercourses urgently need. The Devon Beaver Project will enable communities in Devon and nationwide to benefit from this keystone species’ unrivalled ability to create space for dynamic natural processes that provide cleaner, healthier freshwater as well as flood and drought mitigation. As the only English organisation to have led a reintroduction of beavers to the wild, Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) is uniquely qualified to maximise the benefits and minimise the conflicts associated with rapidly expanding beaver populations.
The Devon Beaver Project will deliver a comprehensive education and awareness raising programme, create beaver management groups, deliver the beaver management strategy, and develop green finance avenues. These processes will engage the communities surrounding beavers, as well as landowners and investors, through events, workshops and online resources.
Successfully delivering all areas of this project will result in a thriving beaver population in Devon and beyond. This in turn has the capacity to transform our rivers into resilient waterways that act as habitats, support biodiversity and can prevent flooding. This project aims to ensure that:
- Communities and stakeholders live comfortably alongside beavers;
- An effective management process is in place for all free-living beaver populations in Devon and that Nationwide Beaver Management Groups are confident in their skills and knowledge of beaver reintroduction;
- The public benefits of beaver activity are quantified and green investment is secured to ensure that those who provide space for beaver wetlands on their land are rewarded;
- Wild beaver populations are thriving, free from persecution, and genetically resilient.
The Badur Foundation is pleased to support Devon Wildlife Trust with the practical costs for essential tools and equipment to carry out this project, and will work together with DWT to monitor developments.