Industrious Beavers on Autumn Watch!
It was wonderful to hear on last night’s episode of Autumn Watch on BBC2 - 25th Oct episode 3, the amazing positive affect that a pair of European Beavers released into the wild on a farm in Cornwall have had on the landscape.
The beavers were introduced as an experiment to see if the dams they build can control the rate the water flows down a river that regularly floods. Since their introduction about 8 months ago the pair have built 5 dams how industrious is that, no wonder my father Colin chose the beaver for his trademark as natures best woodworkers!
Scientific data collected before the Beavers were released showed that when the river levels rose apart from causing flooding it eroding the land and causing run off of fertilisers and other pollutants into the river system. The beaver’s dams have slowed the rate of the river flow reducing flooding and a significant marked improvement in water quality as the dams filter out the silt carrying the pollutants. The pools have created bio diverse habitats and the number of species of insects, aquatic species and birds has more than tripled. The project is being monitored to see of it can be rolled out to other areas and used as nature’s way of helping to control flooding. Much cheaper and environmentally friendly than concrete flood defences.