Beavers released by National Trust to tackle flooding

Last updated at 13:24
BeaversMike Symes/Devon Wildlife Trust
The National Trust will spend the next few months preparing the habitat for the beavers

Beavers might not seem like the most obvious choice to help with flood protection.

But these mammals have strong teeth and jaws which are very useful tools when it comes to building dams.

It's for this reason that they are being released as part of a special mission by the National Trust in spring 2020.

The dams beavers make, by cutting down wood with their teeth and dragging it into rivers, slow the flow of water after heavy rainfall, and reduce the risk of flooding.

BeaversMike Symes/Devon Wildlife Trust
Two pairs of Eurasian beavers are being introduced to the south of England

Two pairs of beavers will be released from captivity into enclosures in Somerset and West Sussex and are expected to build a network of dams.

Beavers became extinct in the wild in the UK about 300 years ago when they were hunted for their fur and meat.

The plans have been approved by Natural England who say "the dams the beavers create will hold water in dry periods and help to lessen flash-flooding and reduce erosion."

The beavers will come from Scotland, where they have been breeding since 2006.

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