Devon Wildlife Trust

River Otter Beaver Project

Beavers are breeding again in England, centuries after these wonderful wetland engineers were hunted to extinction. DWT fought government removal plans and won a 5 year stay of execution. Help us to prove that beavers are good for rivers and people, and are needed in our 21st century countryside.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (213224)





  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation




Beavers are back – but for how long? A vital part of the English countryside for millennia, they were hunted to extinction for their fur. Then in 2014 beavers were found breeding on the River Otter. Defra argued that they could cause damage and spread disease, and planned to remove them. This sparked a huge response from local people, the vast majority wanting the beavers to remain. Our 5-year challenge is to prove that beavers are beneficial – for the environment, the economy and local people.


Your support for our 5 year research trial will give beavers a brighter future in England’s countryside. The animals will be briefly captured for health checks, then released. In order for them to remain long term, we must collect and provide detailed evidence to prove that beavers can help restore English rivers to their former glories, increase water quality and improve our countryside’s flood and drought resilience, while enhancing the wellbeing of local people and wildlife.