the uk beaver project
once a staple species of british woodland ecosystems, the eurasian beaver was declared extinct in the uk in the 16th century as habitat destruction and the fur-trapping industry all but eradicated the species from our islands.
as the beavers disappeared, native fish populations dwindled in the absence of beaver ponds whilst the unimpeded streams flooded forests during heavy rainfall.
for centuries, uk woodlands continued to decline in the absence of the eurasian beaver as farmland and urbanisation shrank the forests to just a fraction of the size they once were.
in may 2009, 400 years after they became extinct, the first eurasian beavers were reintroduced in western scotland thanks to the efforts of the scottish wildlife trust and the forestry commission of scotland.
just over a year later, photographers monitoring the population captured sightings of two kits estimated to be 8 weeks old and showing signs of good health.
following this success, a second population was introduced into the river tay and a study in 2017 revealed that over 300 beavers were now living in the region.
following in the footsteps of the scottish government, the first english beaver populations were released into the wild in 2015 and the eurasian beaver became officially recognised as a british native species the following year.
unfortunately, despite the initial success of the reintroduction projects, tensions are arising between farmers and beaver populations as they start to encroach on farmland and build dams. this cumulated in the shooting of 28 beavers in scotland in 2018.
thankfully, the scottish government passed a law in may 2019 which prohibited the killing of eurasian beavers in scotland and extra measures have been put in place to prevent the beavers from encroaching on farmland. just weeks later however, images emerged of a pregnant beaver being illegally shot dead by a farmer despite the new law.
this incident highlighted the fact that the future of beavers in the uk is still not certain and they are going to need as much protection as they can get if their reintroduction is going to be successful in the long term.
to help this, iceland_greenland_antarctica is proud to launch our very own uk beaver project. helping to raise awareness of beaver populations in the uk, we strongly support their reintroduction and are committed to securing the future of these beautiful animals in their historic british habitats.
not only do beavers create natural habitats for an array of british woodland species (ranging from fish and birds all the way to endangered wildflowers) but they also provide a sustainable solution to forest flooding during heavy rainfall.
as part of our uk beaver project, we will be donating 1% of this winter's sales to the devon wildlife trust's beaver project whilst raising awareness of the issues facing uk beavers across all of our media platforms.
to learn more about what charities like such as the rspb and the devon wildlife trust are doing to help beaver populations in britain, click on the links above.
to see what work is being done and what challenges uk beavers are facing, watch our uk beaver playlist here.
if you would like to know more about our uk beaver project and would like to donate to beaver protection in the uk, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.