In 2019, Valencia Communities Fund supported a project that aimed to create a naturally-managed area of wilderness on the edge of Haslemere. The wild area would improve wood pasture, create wetland and encourage the growth of wild flowers with the associated invertebrate biodiversity that these habitats would support. These important habitats would be created and managed through grazing by traditional long-horn cattle and by the licenced introduction of beavers.
Once the fences were put in place, the beavers set to work immediately, turning a thin stream that ran through the valley into a series of still ponds, fast-flowing rapids and marshy fringes, supporting a wide range of invertebrate and other life. The cattle for their part maintain the meadow, helping to prevent succession into scrub and allowing ground-level flora to flourish.
There follows a period of surveying to ascertain which animals are positively-affected by the changing landscape or are new to the site, which may include baby beavers!
You can learn more about beavers in the UK by clicking here (external site (C) Surrey Wildlife Trust).