Competition launched to name Cheshire Wildlife Trust's newest beaver pair

Two beavers who have been introduced to the Cheshire countryside are in need of names.

They are a rare sight in the North West - endangered, super cute and cuddly - but this pair of beavers need someone to give them ''interesting and creative'' names.

The two were released into an area near Delamere Forest in Cheshire last year and are the first the county has been home to in 400 years.

It is part of a five year conservation project which has seen the beavers take up residence in Hatchmere Nature Reserve.

And now the search is on to find them names, with a new competition announced by Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

The animals were returned to Delamere for the first time in 400 years as part of a five year conservation project.

Kev Feeney, Hatchmere Living Landscape Officer says: "We've had such a great response to our beaver project so far.

"It's great to see people really taking an interest in them and excited to see how they're settling in.

"Our cameras are catching some amazing footage and we're really able to see their individual personalities shining through.

"We can't wait to hear what creative names people come up with. We are so glad people can continue being part of bringing beavers back to Cheshire."

The winning names will be picked by Kev who is leading the beaver project at Hatchmere.

Bringing beavers back to Cheshire is part of an ambitious project that aims to prove that beavers can help benefit the local surroundings.

The animals are native to the county - but they became extinct in the 16th century due to being hunted for their fur and meat.  

The beavers are being released as part of a five-year land management project which it's hoped will create natural flood defences and improve biodiversity at the site.

The Cheshire Wildlife Trust say that, as the beavers adapt to their surroundings they will create a new and improved landscape by removing some trees - allowing sunlight to reinvigorate the woodland floor, building dams to hold back water on the site and filter polluted sediments from flowing into a nearby lake, making new space for insects, invertebrates and fish.

But it all costs money.

Wildlife Trust supporters have raised just over half of the £85,000 required, however £42,000 is still needed to look after the beavers and monitor the effect they are having on Hatchmere's wetlands.


HOW DO I ENTER THE COMPETITION?

The Trust are looking for names for both beavers, one male and one female.

The closing date for entries is Wednesday 31 March and the winning names will be announced on Wednesday 7 April - International Beaver Day.

Entry to the competition is free, however people are still able to be part of bringing beavers back to Cheshire by making a donation.

Donations will fund regular health checks for the animals, surveying for new wildlife the beavers are bringing back, more cameras to capture all the exciting beaver behaviour and training for volunteers to help look after the pair. Donations can be made through the website.

For more on how Cheshire's beavers are settling in, click here.