Many of our members will no doubt be interested in this request for comments from DWT:
In July 2014 Defra announced its intention to catch and remove the wild beavers of east Devon. Their plan is to re-home the beavers in captivity elsewhere. Defra has given two reasons for this: 1) the disease-risk posed by the beavers, 2) their potential impact on the local landscape and wildlife.
There is significant local and wider opposition to this plan.
What is Devon Wildlife Trust doing?
Devon Wildlife Trust thinks the wild beavers should remain on the River Otter.
However we believe this can only happen if the following are proven:
1. that the beavers are disease-free
2. that they are shown to be European beavers rather than the separate species, Canadian beavers
3. that it can be demonstrated that there is local public support for the beavers to remain
4. that a well-planned and resourced programme can be put in place to monitor the beaver’s impact on local landscape, wildlife and people
Devon Wildlife Trust is asking Natural England for permission to establish such a monitoring project. Using the experience gained from our own captive-bred beaver trial in the west of Devon (see ‘Finding out more’ below), we believe we have the know-how to run a successful five-year study of east Devon’s wild beavers.
You can help decide the beavers’ future
As part of our submission to Natural England we are asking the public to let us know their views about east Devon’s wild beavers. What should their future be?
Your views are important! Email devonwildbeavers@
devonwildlifetrust.org and let us know your views, your approximate home location (eg ‘Honiton, Devon’) and whether we can contact you in the future.
Please note: your views may be shared with Natural England and others as part of our work for Devon’s wild beavers.