Beavers given 'right to remain' in Devon

Finchingfield, Essex - a village often subject to localised flooding. Beavers are holding back water on the brook above the village. Photo: Essex Wildlife Trust.

The population of beavers on the River Otter in Devon has been allowed to remain as a wild population, in a landmark decision by the Government.

The estimated 50 adults plus kits had been studied for five years in a bid to understand the effect that they were having on the river ecosystem and the surrounding landscape. They were hunted to extinction inthe UK 400 years ago but have been reintroduced to several areas in recent years, although mostly in enclosures, unlike the River Otter population, whose origins are unknown but were first discovered as a wild population in 2013.

Beavers have been introduced in an enclosure on the Spains Hall Estate in Finchingfield, Essex, and this decision could have long term implications for these and other captive beaver populations in the UK.

For more information see the BBC News site here.