Beavers set to be released in Norfolk for the first time ‘in hundreds of years’

Beavers set to be released in Norfolk for the first time ‘in hundreds of years’
Picture credit: Ken Hill estate

The Ken Hill estate have announced that they are set to release six beavers into an enclosure on the Snettisham estate – stating that this will be the first time beavers have existed in Norfolk for centuries.

The move is a bid to improve biodiversity in the area and is part of the Wild Ken Hill project.

Wild Ken Hill state on their website:

“We discussed previously the importance of beavers as a keystone species, and how they create habitats for other species. But this announcement is also timely because of another role that beavers play: as water management engineers.

“Many experts, including Tony Juniper, have suggested that the current man-made water management systems in the UK are not fit for purpose. The recent, tragic floods in the north of England only reinforce this point.

“Beavers could help us change this. The dams, channels and other structures that beavers engineer will help the land to hold onto water better. Simply, when it rains hard, the land will absorb more water, and when it’s dry, the land will also stay wetter.

“And that’s why we are investing heavily in the monitoring aspect of our project. We have set up biodiversity monitoring programmes to cover multiple aspects of the beaver enclosure, and we are now working with our local university – University of East Anglia – to set up a water monitoring programme.

“Coupled with the improvements in soil quality that we expect to see in the rest of the rewilding area, Wild Ken Hill will become much more resilient to drought, other unfavourable weather events, and of course climate change."

The six beavers will be released into an enclosure around 60 acres in size and they believe that this will be the largest enclosed project in England to date.

They are currently building the enclosure and are hoping to release the beavers in the spring of 2020.

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