Newborn beavers filmed in late night scrap with Sussex ecologists celebrating their arrival

Tap to watch the footage of the beavers play fighting in this report by ITV News Meridian's James Dunham

The birth of two newborn beavers at an estate in Sussex is being celebrated as footage captures the pair scrapping with one another.

Footage recorded by Knepp near Horsham has been released showing the pair of kits, the name given to baby beavers, play fighting in the water.

Their arrival, the first of its kind in the county for 500 years, is a seen as an environmental triumph with beavers being reintroduced into controlled waterways in recent years as part of a Government managed initiative.

The semi-aquatic mammals almost became extinct during Henry VIII's reign as they were hunted for their fur and meat.

Knepp's ecologist Penny Green described the newborns as a dream come true,

"I am so thrilled, it is the kind of thing that you could only dream of, all these years ago when we doing all the paperwork to get the beavers here, to get the licences, to get them here.

"We couldn't have even really dreamed of the day that we'd have kits swimming about in this area here."

The kits parents Brooke and Banksy have transformed a stream into three large ponds since their arrival into Sussex from Scotland early last year.

They've been gnawing down trees and moving branches and twigs to create multiple dams, ready for their off spring.

The beavers have created three large ponds Credit:

Penny added, "Their habitat creation is absolutely amazing. Where they've been damming the water, a little trickle of a stream that was running through here before, that's been dammed up, and they've created three big ponds as a result of that. That's amazing for the wildlife!

"We've seen something like a 95% decline in our wetlands over the years, having beavers back just seems like a bit of a no brainer.

"Especially last year with the drought conditions, we had for three or four months over last summer, we had the beavers here and this was a like an oasis just full of water, full of wetland wildlife that would have been missing otherwise."

Beavers can reduce pollution and stop flooding by preventing water running from rivers but there are concerns from farmers and land owners about the destruction of agriculture.

Measures such as chicken wire and latex paint. with sharp-sand mixed in, which beavers don't like to feel on their teeth can reduce the number of trees being gnawed down.

Beavers are known as 'ecosystem engineers' as they help modify the habitat they live in

Eva Bishop from the Beaver Trust believes we need to embrace the advantages of the adorable creatures,

"Well, what we'd like to see is sort of more connected corridors for nature. And the rivers are an obvious place to do that.

"Rivers and streams to reverse the habitat fragmentation we've seen through our use of land over the last decades and in headwaters and smaller streams and rivers where beavers do that dam building work.

"That's where we'll start to see the diversity of habitat changing."

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