Beavers news story

28 Sept 2023

Enfield's baby beaver is another first for London

Enfield's baby beaver is another first for London

Enfield’s beaver reintroduction project has made history again after a baby ‘kit’ was spotted for the first time this summer.

Enfield Council launched London’s first beaver reintroduction programme in 2022, bringing beavers back to the capital for the first time in 400 years, as part of a rewilding and natural flood management project. This has been done in partnership with Capel Manor College, London’s environmental college and with advice from the Beaver Trust.

It is thought that this is the first baby beaver to be born in London for hundreds of years. Beavers were hunted to extinction in England but have been introduced in recent times to some areas across the country.

Enfield’s baby beaver was caught on camera over the summer in the specially built enclosure created by Enfield Council near Forty Hall. In a video, the kit appears to be thriving -

With guidance provided by the Beaver Trust, Capel Manor College intends to capture the new beaver to give it a thorough on-site health check with an experienced exotic animal vet and to confirm its sex which at this stage remains undetermined.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Rick Jewell, said: “This truly is wonderful news. The adult beavers are quite young so we weren’t sure that they would breed successfully in such a short space of time. You can already see the positive impact the beavers are having through their natural landscaping of the area.

“The beavers’ hard work creating a natural wetland ecosystem will contribute to excellent flood defences, protecting the local area and hundreds of homes from flooding downstream to the southeast of the borough, while encouraging local biodiversity to thrive. They really are remarkable animals.

“This project contributes to our rewilding activities and is having an extremely positive impact on our borough, supporting our climate action objectives and Blue and Green Strategy.”

Capel Manor College’s Animal Collections Manager, Meg Wilson said, “We are thrilled for this new arrival. We have seen the developments the beavers are making and the improvements they have made to the wetland area. We are now focusing our efforts on collecting data, which we hope will further evidence the positive effects the beavers are having on the environment. As Capel Manor College’s conservation efforts grow, this continues to enable us to give our students first-hand experience of conservation and research."

Capel Manor College’s supervisory team had noticed earlier this year that the female beaver appeared to be pregnant. The beaver couple has also been extremely active over the past few months, expanding their sizeable domed lodge and felling several trees including a large willow, which will re-grow by shooting out new stems. Dams are also visible across the site, a sign that the beavers are getting on well and truly making Enfield their home.

  • The photographs have been provided courtesy of Colin Pressland. Follow on Instagram @colin_pressland
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