A true ecosystem engineer
The European Nature Trust is dedicated to the reintroduction of beavers to Britain. The Eurasian beaver once ranged throughout Britain’s waterways, but were hunted to extinction by the late 1700s. The health of our rivers has suffered with their loss: According to the Water Framework Directive, just 14 per cent of UK rivers are today in ‘Good’ ecological health.
Beavers are an ecosystem engineer species. By building dams and felling trees, beavers create diverse wetland habitats that benefit biodiversity. They are ‘climate allies, increasing the amount of dissolved organic carbon in water systems. They have a rightful place on our rivers, and their reintroduction is a crucial part of the broader movement to restore the UK’s watercourses and riparian ecosystems.