London's first beaver project gets new dam dwellers

Two beavers swim alongside each other in a muddy pond

Two new beavers have been introduced to Enfield’s pioneering flood alleviation and biodiversity project and are thriving in their London home.

The male and female two-year-old beavers were brought from Scotland to Forty Hall Farm in North London this winter and have settled into their new environment.

The beavers have made incredible progress, showing signs of dam-making, stripping bark, and can be seen getting on very well together – all captured by discreet cameras.

Last year Enfield Council partnered with Capel Manor College to reintroduce beavers to London for the first time in more than 400 years. The project has been guided and advised on by experts throughout and is fully licensed.

Enfield Council has specially designed a six-hectare enclosure, which has recently been enhanced with a second pond and plenty of new tree whips including, Willow and Aspen.

Capel Manor College’s team continues to monitor the two beavers closely and has enlisted the help of the college’s students as part of their education and training programme and the running of Forty Hall Farm.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Rick Jewell, said: “We have given the two new beavers plenty of space and time to get to know their new environment and we know the Beaver Trust is pleased with the space we have created for them. Once they are fully settled, we should see the area transform into a natural wetland ecosystem, with amazing flood defence properties that will contribute to our work to protect the local area and hundreds of homes downstream from flooding.”

Capel Manor College’s Animal Collections Manager, Meg Wilson, said: “As London’s environmental college, our students and staff are at the forefront of studying animals and their impact on ecosystems. The beavers will naturally re-engineer the local ecosystem, carrying out the groundworks for a sustainable wetland, leading to more diverse habitats. Capel Manor College is ensuring that the beavers’ needs are met, and they have every opportunity to realise their role. A cross-departmental approach allows all of our students the opportunity to engage with a project which supports the College’s mission, the wider community of Enfield and the Mayor of London’s Green New Deal.”

Enfield’s beaver project is part of a wider Natural Flood Management initiative spearheaded by Enfield Council to help protect homes and to restore local biodiversity and river habitats. As part of the Council’s Climate Action Plan and Blue and Green Strategy, Enfield Council is also looking at the reintroduction of other species and would like to support cattle grazing, kingfisher nesting and barbel breeding.

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