How Dartmoor's wild beavers have inspired an entry at Chelsea Flower Show
Watch Ben McGrail's report
Two landscape designers from Bruton are hoping their first entry into the Chelsea Flower Show can highlight the importance of rewilding in Britain.
Adam Hunt and Lulu Urquhart have been inspired by beavers, which have been reintroduced into the wild in Britain after 400 years.
Beavers are natural rewilders, their dams creating nature-rich wetlands which support many other species and act as a carbon sink, while also reducing flooding risk by holding back storm water flows.
Landscape designers Urquhart and Hunt have chosen to make beaver activity the core of their garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year, revealing how this keystone species is pivotal to ecosystem restoration and showcasing how rewilding can benefit nature, climate and people.
Adam Hunt said: “What the beavers do is their activity enables a whole range of other species to benefit. They’re engineering the habitat to create micro habitats for other creatures to make it more livable for insects, other birds and other mammals.”
Lulu Uruqhart said: “We've had the opportunity to see them live as they're being released, and they're adorable. They're amazing, their tails are incredible, they're a beautiful little animal. It is a very touching year for us doing this garden."
Adam and Lulu went to a number of places that have had beavers living there, including on Dartmoor, working with experts to sustainably harvest materials to use at the flower show.
Adam said: “It's really exciting to be putting a garden into Chelsea - a bit nerve-wracking, but we're really looking forward to sharing with everyone the kind of things we're interested in. Also, rewilding is a real passion for both of us, and it's lovely to be able to bring that to Chelsea.
The garden has been designed for and in collaboration with the charity Rewilding Britain. It will show a rewilding landscape in the south west of England, following the reintroduction of the beaver.
Rebecca Wrigley, Rewilding Britain’s Chief Executive, said: “For the first time at Chelsea, visitors will be shown the amazing rewilding impact that eco-engineers such as beavers can have on reversing the loss of nature in Britain and in boosting the beauty and biodiversity of our landscapes.”