Shropshire Star

Plans to reintroduce beavers on Shropshire estate next year

Beavers are set to be reintroduced onto a country estate on the border of Shropshire and Staffordshire in the spring.


Following the success of its water vole reintroduction, Trentham Estate has submitted plans for a beaver enclosure with the hope of housing up to four Eurasian beavers.

The 725-acre Estate, near Eccleshall and Market Drayton, has undergone a massive regeneration programme since 2003, which includes steps to increase biodiversity and re-introduce important species.

In a bid to help re-introduce the species, Trentham is working alongside ecologist and author Derek Gow and the project is being supported by the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, The Beaver Trust, The Environment Agency and The Canal & River Trust.

Alastair Budd, senior director of Trentham, said: “Beavers are one of the most important species in our habitats and we want to help visitors to understand why this once extinct UK native should be back in the English countryside helping to restore our ecosystems and mitigate the impact of climate change.

“Beavers bring a whole host of positives to the environment and it is important to note that they will not cause flooding to neighbouring land or change the water level on the lake.

“Fishing activity will not be disrupted and studies have shown beavers actually enhance and improve fish stocks.

“Areas of the lake used for water sport activities will not be affected and there will be no changes to how the lake or lakeside walks are currently used by Trent Water Sports Association, anglers, visitors or dog walkers.

“If planning permission is granted this could be one of the largest beaver enclosures in England and an important place for the public to engage and learn more about the species and their vital role.

“We also plan to work closely with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and local schools to help educate and inform people on their importance to the environment.”

An aerial view of Trentham and where the beavers will be reintroduced

Trentham is home to a range of habitats popular with birds, bug life, otters, deer, amphibians and reptiles and boats ancient woodlands which are a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Beavers are often referred to as ‘ecosystem engineers’ and their role in combatting climate change is increasingly being recognised, as they make changes to their habitats, such as coppicing trees and damming smaller water courses.

These activities create diverse and dynamic wetlands – helping to connect floodplains with their watercourses once again.

In turn, these wetlands can bring enormous benefits to other species, such as otters, water shrews, water voles, birds, invertebrates and breeding fish, as well as sequestering carbon.

Trentham has submitted plans for an enclosure around the perimeter of the lake and wider Gardens to keep the beavers safe and prevent them from escaping.

Nick Mott, river restoration manager at Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, added: “Staffordshire Wildlife Trust fully supports Trentham’s exciting proposals to introduce beavers to a fenced enclosure.

“Beavers are, quite simply, ecosystem engineers: they enhance wetlands and woodlands and provide a variety of crucial habitat niches for a wide range of species from dragonflies and toads to woodpeckers and stag beetles to harvest mice and water voles.”