Video footage has captured the movements of two adorable baby beavers exploring their new surroundings in Cropton Forest, Yorkshire.
The kits are seen swimming and settling into their new home with their mum at their side.
The new arrivals are the result of breeding by two wild beavers who were placed in the forest in April, as part of a revolutionary experiment to tackle flooding.
The five-year trial follows a project in Pickering which showed that building artificial dams can have a major impact on rising water levels.
It's the first time in the UK that the effects beaver have on artificial dams have ever been studied.
Forestry England expect that the beavers’ activity in Cropton Forest will improve biodiversity in their new 10-hectare home and may have the potential to reduce the impact of flooding locally.
In a statement, ecologist, Cath Bashforth from Forestry England said it was ''fascinating'' to watch the kits explore their new surroundings.
Fun beaver facts:
- Beavers are born precocial, meaning they are a miniature version of adults, seeing well and moving independently from birth.
- The Eurasian Beaver is a large semi-aquatic native mammal that was once widespread throughout Britain. They were hunted to extinction by the beginning of the 16th Century for their meat, fur and scent glands.
- Beavers are a ‘keystone species’ - playing an important role in wetland ecology by creating ecosystems that provide habitats for many other plant, insect and mammal species. Few other animals, aside from humans, have the ability to so drastically modify and shape their surrounding environment. For this reason beavers are often referred to as “ecosystem engineers”.