Beaver released in Plymouth for first time in 400 years

  • Watch the moment the beaver was released in Plymouth (credit: Plymouth City Council)

A beaver has been released in Plymouth as part of a re-wilding project.

The 20kg male, which was caught in Scotland in September, has been introduced to a specially-designed enclosure in Forder Valley.

It is the first urban release of a beaver in the UK, and the first in Plymouth in more than 400 years.

The release is part of the Green Minds project by Plymouth City Council, which seeks to re-wild urban parks, gardens and verges.

The beaver taking his first steps in his new enclosure in Forder Valley. Credit: Plymouth City Council

A Plymouth City Council spokesperson said: “We want to create more spaces for wildlife and nature in different pockets around the city. 

“As well as being charismatic, beavers are fascinating creatures as they engineer their surroundings by felling trees, damming sections of river and creating a network of canals.

A female beaver will be introduced to the enclosure in the coming months.

The male was moved to Plymouth from Scotland to spare him from being culled.

The council says it will live a “very happy life” in its three-and-a-half hectare enclosure, which includes more than 600 metres of river in a wooded valley.

Asked if roadworks on the planned Forder Valley Link Road will disturb the new arrival, the council spokesperson said: “The construction phase is a possible risk.

An artist's impression of the new-look Forder Valley Link Road.

“But we have come to the conclusion that they would cope with it okay - particularly as they are a nocturnal animal and most of the activity would be during the day, so it wouldn’t impact on their natural behaviour too much. 

“A beaver lodge is an amazingly well-insulated structure, and so the noise shouldn't penetrate it too much.”

The public will be permitted to see the beaver in its new home once it is settled in.

For more information, click here.

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