Beaver kits named Russo and Toone after Lionesses' victory at Women's Euros 2022

  • Watch the beaver kits at the Holnicote Estate in Somerset (Video: National Trust)

Two new beaver kits have been named Russo and Toone following the Lionesses' historic victory in the Women's Euros 2022.

They were born at the Holnicote Estate in Somerset this spring and are the younger siblings to Rashford, who was named after Manchester United player Marcus Rashford.

National Trust rangers chose the names in honour of Alessio Russo and Ella Toone, two of the players who triumphed at the Euros.

Project manager at Holnicote Ben Eardley said: “We chose these names as a fitting tribute to the Lionesses win. 

"Over the next few months, we’ll be able to track their development and witness how they can help us with our conservation work, in particular building more resilience into our landscapes to help mitigate the consequences of extreme weather like the drought conditions we are currently experiencing."

Russo and Toone will help create and maintain vital wetland habitats, helping keep water in the landscape in periods of drought. Rangers say they are already helping during the heatwave.

Ben added: “Due to the clever dam building these mammals have done since their introduction, the pools they have created are still relatively high which means the wildlife which has been attracted to them such as frogs, reptiles, moorhens and are still thriving despite the challenging conditions.

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