England fans asked to name beaver kits born at Holnicote Estate in honour of Lionesses

One of the newly born beaver kits at a National Trust estate in Somerset Credit: National Trust

The National Trust is asking football fans to name two newborn beaver kits after members of the Lionesses squad in the wake of their historic Euro 2022 win.

A family of beavers on the Holnicote Estate in Somerset welcomed two new arrivals in the spring.

Three kits have been born on the estate since breeding pair Yogi and Grylls were introduced in 2020.

The eldest, who was born in May 2021, was named Rashford after Manchester United player and food poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford.

The trust is now asking football fans to pick a name from among the victorious England team for Rashford’s siblings, through a Twitter competition.

Ben Eardley, project manager at Holnicote, said: “Last year we were overwhelmed by the interest in our first beaver kit, with thousands of people helping us choose a name.

“After Sunday’s historic victory, we’re anticipating even more excitement this time, and hopefully some Lioness-inspired name suggestions.”

Beavers have been hailed as the heroes of nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, with their network of dams regulating water flow and reducing the risk of flooding after heavy rain.

The network of new ponds and channels at Holnicote has also created havens for other wildlife, including grass snakes and bats, and birds such as the sparrowhawk, grey wagtail, moorhen and kingfisher.

One of the beaver kits dragging a stick Credit: National Trust/ PA

Otters are also now regular visitors to the site, the National Trust said.

The beavers are also providing a boost to the surrounding woodland by stripping out non-native conifers, letting more light through the canopy and encouraging new trees to grow.

Mr Eardley said: “By developing this type of resilience to our warming climates, we can help wildlife weather the uncertainty of rising temperatures and conditions that we are likely to experience due to climate change.

“Holding water in the landscapes not only benefits wildlife, but ensures there is more water for the surrounding trees and fields.

“These beaver-engineered wetlands have the potential to help raise local groundwater levels and develop a more resilient river catchment for people and wildlife.”