Three new baby beavers born on Exmoor after species was reintroduced

Three baby beavers have been born on Exmoor as a project to reintroduce them continues its success.

The kits are the latest addition in the National Park after wild beavers returned there in 2020 for the first time in 400 years.

One kit has become the sixth member of the family living at the National Trust’s ‘Paddocks’ enclosure at its Holnicote estate, where 'Rashford' became the first kit born on the estate in 2021, followed by twins 'Russo' and 'Toone' last summer.

All three were named after England’s football stars after the public were invited to help name the kits – with the final choices coming down to a public vote.

Jack Siviter is a National Trust ranger working on the beaver project. He said: “The beavers at ‘Paddocks’ are a tight family team. We see them grooming each other, playing and working together to improve the site and create healthy habitats which can support a broad range of species such as dragonflies and toads.”

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

Another pair of kits have been born at Whiteman’s Moor, which is just a few miles away, to first time parents Lily and Bulrush. Here, the twins have been caught on camera playing and even hitching a ride on their parent’s backs as they work.

National Trust project manager Ben Eardley said: “Beavers can play an important role helping to combat the climate crisis because their dams help restore dry and degraded wetlands. We’ve already seen the positive change beavers can bring to the landscape at Holnicote and have recorded a dramatic change in water levels on the previously unmanaged woodland, as well as a change to vegetation and light."

He added: “The multiple dam complexes created over the last few years have helped to slow the flow of water through the area, create ponds and new channels to hold more water in times of flood, as well as in times of drought. These improvements they’ve made to the habitat are what have allowed wildlife to flourish, including fish, water voles, frogs, toads and otters.”

The conservation charity is again asking the public for help in naming the three new kits with suggestions able to be made via the National Trust’s social media accounts over the coming weeks.