Beavers:Written question - HL15503

Asked on: 02 May 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the introduction of beavers in the UK; and of the risk of flooding as a result of their introduction.
Answered on: 17 May 2019

The Government is engaged with a number of projects to further our understanding of the impact of beavers on the environment and flooding. We also maintain contact with the Scottish Government to learn from its experience on the River Tay.

The trial reintroduction of beavers on the River Otter in Devon, which started in 2015, will conclude in 2020. The latest annual report from this trial, undertaken by the Devon Wildlife Trust, highlights assessments made on water flows and flood risks. Defra will assess the River Otter trial in 2020 and will seek advice from Natural England.

The Forestry Commission is currently undertaking two enclosed trial releases which will contribute to our understanding of the impacts of beavers on water flow and surrounding ecology.

The Environment Agency is working with a number of projects that are gathering evidence from beaver trial sites to improve our understanding of the opportunities and implications for flood risk management. Natural England and the Environment Agency are working with the University of Exeter to understand how beavers affect water flow in rivers. The results of these trials will inform decisions on future reintroductions of beavers in England

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