Earlier this year Cheshire Wildlife Trust announced that the pair of beavers who were released into Hatchmere Nature Reserve, Delamere Forest in 2020 had welcomed a new kit, the first beaver born in Cheshire for 400 years.
However, after retrieving and checking the wildlife cameras recently, the Trust discovered that there wasn’t just one baby beaver, but two!
Beavers live in small family groups, formed by a pair of adults and any young they’ve had that year, and sometimes the young from the previous year, too. Pairs usually stay together for life. Breeding takes place between December and April and the pregnancy lasts for 103-108 days. Females give birth to their litter of 1-6 young in early summer (the average litter is 2-3 young). The young, called kits, reach sexual maturity at two years old, but don’t tend to breed successfully until they’re at least three.
We’re delighted with the discovery of two beaver kits at Hatchmere Nature Reserve. It’s coming up to the two-year anniversary since Rowan and Willow were released back in 2020, so it’s nice to have a small beaver family living in Cheshire for the first time in 400 years.
England is one of the world’s most nature-depleted countries in the world. Beavers offer a chance to reverse the dramatic decline in our wildlife by allowing nature to restore itself. The Government’s decision to allow a wild population of beavers to remain in the river Otter in East Devon has reinforced the importance of bringing these animals back into England’s countryside.
The River Otter beaver trial showed that the animals’ skill replenished and enhanced the ecology of the river catchment in East Devon. They increased the “fish biomass” and improved the water quality. This meant more food for otters – beavers are herbivores – and clearer and cleaner water in which kingfishers could flourish.
Their dams worked as natural flood-defences, helping to reduce the risk of homes flooding downstream.
The Cheshire Wildlife Trust project is one of 25 beaver reintroductions in England, with other sites in the South West, Kent, Gloucestershire, East Anglia and Yorkshire.
To read the full article and watch a video of the new beaver kits,click here.