Updated Jan 10, 2022

Staffordshire to trial reintroducing beavers

The Staffordshire council's wildlife trust is trialling the reintroduction of beavers to local rivers to alleviate flooding risk and improve natural habitats.

The dam-building rodents were recently reintroduced in Dorset, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and the effects can already be seen, as local natural habitats are improved which encourages wildlife and native species to thrive. As well as slowing down the flow of water in the river which can reduce the risk of flooding, beaver dams provide a great habitat for the only UK-native white-clawed crayfish, which has been under threat from invasive non-native American signal crayfish.

Staffordshire council said that they would like to see the return of beavers but only in the right parts of the country. Mr Jeff Sim, head of reserves, said "We want them to stay forever so it is really important that a lot of work is done up front, working with all the landowners to make sure that everybody is on board".

Beavers have been extinct in the UK for over 400 years due to excessive hunting for their fur, meat and scent glands.