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The River Otter catchment has been the location of a trial for the reintroduction of beavers through a partnership project between Devon Wildlife Trust and the University of Exeter. This 5 year trial began with the introduction of two family groups of beavers in 2015. These groups have interbred and it is now estimated there are 15 family groups of beavers living on the River Otter. In 2020, in a landmark decision, the Government allowed the beavers to remain.

Beavers bring a host of benefits to the river’s environment and to the communities living within the catchment. Over the 5 year trial significant ecological benefits were observed through the creation of new wetland habitats. Wetlands are important areas for carbon sequestration and provide habitat for a variety of species. Additionally, the deep ponds and channels created by dams store water, slow the flow and help prevent flooding.

How is this helping Devon reach net-zero?

Action F24. Develop more whole-catchment improvement projects.

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