Beavers thriving in new home on Wallington Estate in Northumberland
The Wilder Wallington project was designed to improve prospects for nature across the 5,300-hectare estate and includes the migration of pine martens, restoring hedgerows and peatland, planting trees, tackling invasive non-native species, supporting farmers to incorporate nature into their business plans and alleviating flooding.
The reintroduction of beavers was funded by the Reece Foundation and provided funds for the beavers to first be cared for at Beaver Trust’s holding facilities at Five Sisters Zoo.
The female was already pregnant and was able to raise her kit in a comfortable environment.
Two adult and two young beavers were then successfully relocated to their new home in a 24-hectare fenced enclosure on a tributary of the River Wansbeck.
Dr Roisin Campbell-Palmer, head of restoration at Beaver Trust, said: “The fact that we have a healthy young kit that has been born and raised by its family relatively normally and is now acting naturally in its new home is a testament to everyone involved.”
Dr Romain Pizzi, independent specialist wildlife veterinarian, said: “We knew as soon as we discovered that the female was expecting this would be a different challenge than we initially expected but it couldn’t have gone better.”
The family were transported to Northumberland and released on July 12. Footage from the estate showed the beavers settling in well and beginning to transform their surroundings as hoped.
Paul Hewitt, countryside manager at the National Trust, said: “They've been here for four months now and are all happy and healthy, having settled in brilliantly. They're already making changes to the landscape and we're really looking forward to seeing what they do over the coming months and years.”
This release is Northumberland’s first, and the family are one of the very few beaver populations in northern England.
A short film has been released by Beaver Trust and Five Sisters Zoo telling the story of the beaver kit’s birth and release at National Trust’s Wallington Estate. It can be watched at Beaver Trust’s YouTube Channel and at The Wallington Estate’s visitor centre and café.