Introduction

Wild Time

Spring

Feel the beat of spring

Be dazzled by bluebells

Harken to a bittern's boom

Seek a swooping sand martin

Pen poetry among daffodils

Sway with dancing grebes

Get sent packing by a grouse

Take a ringside seat

Track down a tiger

Watch a rare sky dance

Chatter with a natterjack

Enjoy the great rush north

Look up in awe

Shine a light on newts

Eavesdrop on a nightingale

Go spotting early orchids

Follow a sat-tagged osprey

Gape at hunting hobbies

Nurse a passion for purple

Scour riverbanks for Ratty

Tip-toe among fritillaries

Summer

Hail the success of avocets

Go batty as night falls

Bewitched by a buttercup

Play the summertime blues

Thrill to damsels and dragonflies

Go after Dartford warbler

Make a splash with gannets

Stake out a badger sett

Hurrah for the king

Rejoice in Manxie's chorus

Delight in a glow worm

Fall for THE fastest bird

Be spellbound by orchids

Journey to a seabird city

Exalt at a skylark's song

Party with the puffins

Lounge with a lizard

Haunt a churring nightjar

Head seawards on safari

Discover the rare spoonbill

Join the toadlet exodus

Spot our largest butterfly

Wear a hat for terns

Hunt woodland beauties

Autumn

Admire our eager beavers

Marvel at migration

Forage for Autumn's bounty

Go nuts over squirrel nutkin

Ramble through purple

Gaze in awe at reds' rut

Wander in the wild wood

Cheer on the salmon run

Try a wild goose chase

Foray for fungi

Winter

Pay homage to the Russians

Go on a winter ghost hunt

Wonder at wintering waders

Fall in love with a seal pup

Hear Britain's tallest bird

Revel in roosting wagtails

Kiss beneath mistletoe

'Ooh' & 'aah' at murmurations

Lie in wait for an otter

Rock 'n' roll with geology

Wrap up for a raptor roost

Admire our eager beavers

Young beaver at Ham Fen credit Kent Wildlife Trust

Return of the native? Beavers could be making their way back to British waterways.

Visit early in the morning and you may be lucky enough to see a beaver itself

Europe’s largest rodent, the beaver is the size of a tubby spaniel.  Although famous for eating trees, their diet is actually more diverse than that: during the summer months they feed on aquatic plants, grasses and shrubs, resorting to more woody plants in the winter.

Great engineers, they will build dams to divert and slow down running water, to create new ponds and to flood ‘canals’ that they use to reach tasty young willow growth.

The European beaver was driven to extinction in the UK in the 16th century, hunted for its fur, for meat and for the oil in its scent glands, which was used in medicine. With the loss of the beaver, we lost one of the great architects of the countryside. The mosaic of pools and marshes, channels and wet woodland that their feeding creates disappeared, and our wetlands became all the poorer. Moves are now afoot to reverse this loss, and The Wildlife Trusts are at the forefront of bringing beavers back.

How to do it

If you can’t get to the special places listed below… There is some great film footage of Devon’s beavers, including the first wild kits, on Devon Wildlife Trust’s Youtube channel

Special spots

Beaver re-introduction trials and projects are underway or planned in England, Scotland and Wales.

Scotland
In Scotland, a five-year trial reintroduction has taken place at Knapdale Forest,Argyll, a partnership between Scottish Wildlife Trust, The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the Forestry Commission in Scotland. While the results of the trial are discussed by the Scottish Parliament, the beavers are still in Knapdale and a visit to the ‘beaver detective trail’ should reveal plenty of tracks and signs.  Visit early in the morning and you may be lucky enough to see a beaver itself.

England
In Devon ,a pair of beavers was discovered on the River Otter in 2014.  The Government's original plan was to capture the animals and rehome them, but Devon Wildlife Trust has successfully argued for England’s first wild beaver trial.  For the next five years the animals will be monitored, and a final decision made on their future.  We certainly hope it will be a rosy one.  There is good public access along the River Otter, with evidence of the beavers’ presence along the 12 mile stretch from Budleigh Salterton to Honiton.

In Kent, beavers have been present at Ham Fen since 2001.  Although the reserve is not open to the public, Kent Wildlife Trust runs regular guided walks, which give the opportunity to see these water engineers at work. Check their website for dates.

Wales
There's nowhere to visit just yet... The Welsh Wildlife Trusts are leading the  Welsh Beaver Project. Currently the project is investigating the feasibility of releasing beavers at two sites in mid Wales, although for now these plans are just in the pipeline.  We await the return of beavers to Wales with eager anticipation. 

Beaver (c) Devon Wildlife Trust

View Site in Mobile | Classic
Share by: