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Conservationists breathe sigh of relief as beaver activity spotted

new evidence has been uncovered to show they the beavers have simply relocated Credit: Devon Wildlife Trust

Beavers are very much alive and well in Devon, a wildlife charity has said.

Concerns were raised last month about a lack of sightings of beavers but now new evidence has been uncovered to show they may have simply relocated.

Devon Wildlife Trust says it is currently monitoring four 'active areas' along the River Otter, where it has seen fresh evidence of the beavers' presence.

We knew the beavers had not ‘disappeared’ but it’s good to be able to report recent evidence showing that they are still active on the river. Beavers are mobile animals and it’s quite common for them to shift their lodges and feeding grounds. There’s lots of room for beavers on this river so it’s unsurprising that they have relocated from the places that we saw them last spring and summer.

– Mark Elliott, River Otter Beaver Trial manager
An adult beaver being released back into the wild in Devon in March

Beavers back in the River Otter

A family of beavers has been returned to the wild after being given a clean bill of health by Natural England.

An adult beaver being released back into the wild in Devon

Devon Wildlife Trust returned the beavers to the River Otter last night. They are thought to be the only breeding family in the UK.

The Trust will study the beavers over the next five years to assess the impact they have on the local environment.

This has been a really difficult few months, a huge amount of work.

We've been focusing a lot of time and effort to make sure these beavers come back to the river safely.

– Peter Burgess, Devon Wildlife Trust

Beavers to be released back into River Otter

Beavers will be released back into the River Otter after tests showed they're disease free. The animals were captured to check they weren't infected by a dangerous parasitic disease.

A baby beaver (kit) with an adult Credit: Credit: Tom Buckley

Now they've been given the all clear and they'll return to their habitat in the next few weeks. Devon Wildlife Trust has been given a 5 year licence to study the beavers.


Relief for River Otter's beavers

These shots of a baby beaver (kit) with an adult are proof that the colony is breeding Credit: Tom Buckley

A family of beavers that made their home along the River Otter in Devon are being allowed to stay - for the next five years at least.

As many as ten of the animals have set up home along the river. They haven't lived freely in our countryside for centuries but Natural England says they can remain while conservationists study their impact on the environment.

Devon Wildlife Trust comes with eyes open to this project. We know what it means because we have studied these animals for three years. I'm sitting on a tree that has been felled by these animals so they can bring change to our landscape, but that doesn't mean destruction. That means opportunities for other kinds of wildlife.

– Steve Hussey, Devon Wildlife Trust
Beavers were here! Devon Wildlife Trust is to study the impact of the animals over the next five years Credit: ITV News

Decision expected on Devon's beavers

It is thought at least three beavers are living in the wild near Ottery St Mary Credit: PA

A decision is due on the fate of wild beavers living on the River Otter in Devon.

Conservationists think at least three now live near Ottery St Mary. Devon Wildlife Trust hopes to spend five years studying the impact of the beavers on the local environment. It has launched an appeal to fund the project.