Chris Packham explains why we need your help - watch now
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Help Devon Wildlife Trust raise a minimum £100,000
£30 408 Raised
(Updated weekly. The figure includes gift aid.)
Ways to back the project
Fine Art Print £200
A signed, museum quality, fine art print of beaver and kit on the River Otter, by Richard Rochester.
The story so far …….
Four hundred years after England’s beavers were hunted to extinction, a wild breeding population has been found on Devon’s River Otter. With your help we can keep them here, and pave the way for future reintroductions across the country!
Nobody knows how beavers came to be living wild again in Devon, and the government’s immediate reaction to their discovery was that they must be removed. But Devon Wildlife Trust and partners campaigned hard for the beavers to stay and for the granting of a five year trial period in which we could study these fascinating animals.
The result of this scientific trial could see Devon’s wild beavers being granted their freedom for good. It might also clear the path for future reintroductions of beavers and other lost native species to the wider English countryside.
Evidence from other countries and from captive beaver projects tells us that beavers enhance water quality, reduce flooding impacts and create ideal conditions for a staggering array of other wildlife. But a lot more research and work is needed if we are to provide the government with sufficient evidence from which to decide if bringing beavers back into a lowland English landscape is feasible, desirable and acceptable.
As custodians of England’s first breeding wild beavers for centuries, we now have a huge responsibility. The people who’ll determine the fate of this and future native species reintroductions are watching the River Otter Beaver Trial closely.
We now have four years remaining to monitor the impacts our beavers are having on their environment;
- to ensure that the beaver community remains genetically healthy by introducing new animals to the river and monitoring their welfare
- to work with local people
- to make sure that all of these outcomes are fully supported by independent evidence
If we can do all these things then, and only then, can the beavers remain in the wild.
Securing their future, you can help!
But securing a wild future for our beavers involves a huge amount of work and this is costly. Generous donations from Devon Wildlife Trust supporters have enabled us to complete the first year of the five year trial. However we have lots more money to raise, and urgently need your help. The total five year cost of the beaver work is £700k. To date we are nearly half way there, having already secured £315k, leaving us with £385k still to find. To find out more about what your support will fund, please have a look at this more detailed project outline :
What happens if DWT does not raise the funds required? If we are unable to fund the River Otter Beaver Trial to 2020, the government licence requires that the beavers be rehomed in captivity.
What will happen to the beavers after the end of the Trial in 2020? The UK government will decide on the long-term future of Devon’s wild beavers, based on the evidence we and our project partners provide, on the beavers’ impacts on landscape, wildlife and communities in the Otter catchment. Natural England has stated that the outcome of the River Otter Beaver Trial will determine any future beaver re-introduction projects in England.
Devon Wildlife Trust needs to raise at least £100,000 through this crowdfunding campaign to give our beavers a future in the wild.
Please donate today, and play a crucial role in England’s most exciting 21st century wildlife story.