Last week saw the mention of a brand new (or very old, depending on how you look at it), totally natural solution to the flooding that has been afflicting the UK over the winter months.
Due to intensive farming and development of land which has removed vast swathes of forest from British landscapes, the ground’s potential to absorb and hold water has been drastically reduced. The lack of intricate root networks formed by the presence of trees and the increasing amount of harsh chemicals in the form of pesticides and fertilisers have stripped the soil of its natural ability, meaning that water flows through it causing major flooding.
But lately, research conducted at the University of Exeter has generated increasing support for the reintroduction of beavers to British landscapes in order to improve the situation. The research has discovered that the presence of beavers in a landscape has a huge impact on the amount of water which is pooled by dams, thereby preventing flooding. Leaders of a reintroduction project in partnership with the Devon Wildlife Trust have said that the change has been “far greater than we expected”.
There’s a lot of potential, but it isn’t without its pitfalls as farmers have been raising concerns about the damage that the animals could do to their land. Whilst this may be true, many are saying that the solutions provided by beavers vastly outweigh the damage they could do – perhaps another example of human-wildlife conflict where humans should get out of the way and let nature take its course!
Find out more about beaver reintroduction projects from a recent article in The Telegraph.