A family of beavers have been allowed to stay living in the river Otter in Devon. Natural England
have issued a five year license to Devon Wildlife trust which permits them to stay. Originally they were going to be removed but Friends of the Earth launched a legal challenge to this plan.
This is the first family of beavers to live in the wild in England for 500 years. There are thought
to be eight adults and three young ones.
There are certain safegurds and restrictions involved. They will all have to be trapped and tested for disease and tapeworms. Also it must be ascertained that they are a European species.
Beavers can have a big effect on the environment as they fell trees for food and to build dams which create pools for them to live in. Dams can help to slow down flood waters and also create more wetland habitat. Anglers are opposed to the reintroduction as they think the beavers will
adversely affect the fisheries.
Nobody knows for sure how the beavers got there but it is suspected that they were released deliberately.
There is a wild population of about 150 beavers on the River Tay in Scotland.
Good on 'em I say!