River Wildlife Corridors and Beavers
A catchment scale project to be delivered by the Beaver Trust at key locations along the river Caen and its tributaries, helping the community to release 10 pairs of beavers AND establish 50-70km (c. 300 hectares) of river wildlife corridors by planting or allowing trees to grow naturally along river banks – to reduce flood risk downstream in Braunton, enhance water quality, prevent soil erosion, sequester carbon, and increase biodiverse wildlife.
This pioneering project has been developed in response to requests from the affected community to tackle the ever-increasing flood risk in Braunton, which man-made flood defences have failed to mitigate),by introducing nature’s engineers (beavers) and natural climate solutions (trees).
It will engage and support over 50 North Devon farmers and landowners to encourage the creation of river wildlife corridors – wild ‘buffers’ along river edges – and space for beavers to thrive.
It will also act as a pilot, providing a template for scaling up these highly effective Nature-based Solutions across the UK, and hopefully enabling future beavers to be released outside of enclosures.
Update Sep 2021: It has now been confirmed that this project will form part of the national pilot scheme just launched by DEFRA, called ‘Woodlands for Water‘.
DEF’s early support added confidence to this pilot project, which aims to prove that woodland corridors and beavers are efficient Nature-based Solutions that help wildlife while making rivers more resilient to climate change.
Find out more about this exciting project by listening to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Costing the Earth’ episode entitled ‘Beaver Town‘.