THE Wildlife Trusts are releasing a record number of beavers in 2021.

Around 20 beavers will be released this year, including to a project in Wales. The first releases recently took place in Dorset.

Plans developed by the Wildlife Trusts of Dorset, Derbyshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Nottinghamshire and Montgomeryshire will see new beaver families moving into these counties for the first time.

The Wildlife Trusts have been at the forefront of beaver reintroduction and projects in Britain since Kent Wildlife Trust released the first pair into a fenced area of fenland in 2001.

READ MORE: Beavers taking a bite out of cricket

Craig Bennett, chief executive of the Wildlife Trusts, said: “Beavers are a fantastic keystone species that have a hugely important role to play in restoring nature to Britain. It’s brilliant to see Wildlife Trusts across the UK ensuring a better future for wetlands and for a wealth of other wildlife by bringing back beavers, whose engineering capabilities inject new life into wild places. Beavers help stop flooding downstream, filter out impurities and they create new homes for otters, water voles and kingfishers.

“We live in one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, which is why we have a big ambition to protect 30 per cent of land and sea for nature by 2030. We’re calling on the government to come up with an ambitious strategy to enable beavers to return to help tackle the climate crisis and improve wetlands for wildlife.”

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