Eurasian Beavers (Castor fibre) on English rivers are to gain legal protection from October 2022. The announcement by Natural England brings England in line with Scotland where they have had full protection since May 2019.
Designated and protected as European protected species (EPS). EPS are protected under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations making it an offence to:
- deliberately kill, injure, disturb or capture them
- damage or destroy their breeding sites and resting places (even when bats are not present)
- possess, control or transport them (alive or dead)
We recently made a trip to see the beaver enclosure in the Forest of Dean where this keystone species is doing fantastic work on the Greathough brook and were impressed by the changes a single pair have made to their six hectare habitat since our previous visit in 2019. While we are unlikely to see wild beavers building dams and lodges on our local waterways anytime soon we hope that this added protection will bring them one step closer to recovery.