Help us reintroduce beavers to Dorset
Introducing Nature's engineers
After a 400-year absence Dorset Wildlife Trust plans to reintroduce this once native species in an enclosed trial. We want to study a pair of beavers to see the difference they make to an enclosed area and waterway. We believe we will find they; improve water quality, help reduce flooding and their presence and waterway engineering will improve the area for a host of other creatures too, (*including kingfishers, water voles and dragonflies.) You can read all about the project on our PDF below. So, please can you help us reintroduce nature’s engineers?
Why we need your help
We have a potential site and have secured a significant part of the total funding needed to start the project. However, we still urgently need to raise the last £20,000 to make this happen and deliver the full project.
For every £1 that you give, £10 in match funding from grants could be released; which means that your donation, no matter how big or small, will make a considerable difference.
Thank you for being part of this rare opportunity, with your donation we can raise the vital last funds needed to reintroduce this keystone species.
Donate £10 to help us release vital fundsGet beavers back in Dorset
Donate £50 to part-fund the arrival of one of our beaversHelp us to relocate our newest residents
Donate £90 and help fund a trail cameraHelp us see the lives of these amazing creatures
Why we want to reintroduce beavers
Beavers are a keystone species. Beavers play a vital role in river ecology, improving the biodiversity of our rivers and surrounding habitats.
What beavers can do for wildlife in Dorset
As well as retaining water, beaver dams also have the ability to filter pollutants. The reduction in excess nutrients such as phosphates and nitrates improves the water quality with benefits to surrounding wetland wildlife.
Did you know? Myth busting facts
- Beavers are vegetarians. They do not eat fish. In fact, they are known to co-exist well with them, boosting fish populations. Beavers snack on riverside plants, grasses, as well as tree bark and shoots.
- Beavers feel safest in still, deep water (around 70cm). They are very unlikely to stray far from it and will create dams if the water levels aren’t what they would like them to be.
- Where beavers go – more wildlife will follow. Beavers create diverse wetland habitats that can provide a home for a wide range of wildlife such as amphibians, water voles, dragonflies, birds and even plants.
Beaver dams vary in size and structure. In many cases they are small temporary structures made of twigs, which gradually break down as water levels rise. In others, they can be larger stable structures that create big ponds. Both water and fish are able to move through and around them and they are not the huge dam structures made by the North American beaver.
Beavers can reduce flooding. Beaver dams slow the flow of water; in storms more water is stored; in droughts more water is available. The potential for beavers to reduce flooding and maintain baseflows downstream is significant.
Beavers can improve water quality. Impoundment of water behind dams can positively affect the quality of water by diffusing pollutants being transported downstream. Their dams act as sediment traps cleaning our waters.