We are excited to announce that we intend to apply for a license from Natural England to reintroduce Eurasian beavers to Ealing in a controlled enclosure trial at Paradise Fields in North Greenford. This is a joint project between Ealing Wildlife Group (EWG), Ealing Council, Citizen Zoo and Friends of Horsenden Hill, supported by experts at the Beaver Trust. Ealing Council have agreed to provide ranger support and partial financial backing from Section 106 developer funding to improve the local environment and provide community benefit. We will be seeking further funding for the project in order to make it happen should our application be successful.
Following a series of visits, Paradise Fields has been identified as highly suitable habitat for beaver reintroduction, and as a flagship London rewilding project. The intention is to enclose most of the 10 hectare site and uniquely to allow visitors to enter an immersive experience in a rewilding beaver landscape. Studying the impacts of beavers in the urban landscape in an enclosed trial setting at first is very important before wider free-living beaver reintroduction is considered, or before natural recolonisation occurs over the coming years.
Free living wild beavers are already as close to London as Medway in Kent to the South and Oxfordshire in the west. Natural recolonisation is almost an inevitability. Learning to live alongside beavers is something that landowners, local councils, residents, conservation organisations and other stakeholders are going to have to do in future. And excitingly today, the 17th March 2022, Forty Hall Farm in Enfield released a pair of beavers into a woodland enclosure under license in a joint project by Capel Manor College and Enfield Council, the first beavers to live in London in 400 years.
The key objectives of our proposed project are:
1) Learn to manage beavers in the urban context including monitoring flood mitigation effects in an urban catchment
2) Habitat and biodiversity improvements on site, with a view to later reintroduce water voles, now considered locally extinct
3) Public engagement of local urban communities with nature, biodiversity and nature based solutions/ecosystem services
Public engagement with the proposed beaver reintroduction is absolutely crucial to all involved in the project. We will be asking site users to modify behaviour to some degree like in taking care to close gates, not to litter, to walk dogs on lead, sticking to paths, cyclists will need to dismount to enter and exit, report any fence damage and so on. And for that reason we recognise there may be concerns from local residents or site visitors about a project of this nature, so we are launching a public consultation survey to request feedback, insights and so we can answer any concerns raised. Please do take part in the survey here, where you can also sign up to our beaver project mailing list:
For more information on why beaver reintroduction is being considered in London, and the associated benefits of projects such as this, here’s a talk by our friend and colleague Elliot Newton from Citizen Zoo:
For further information on beavers and the ecosystem services they can provide, please take a look at the Beaver Trust website (https://beavertrust.org/) and the short film ‘Beavers without Borders’:
For more information or press enquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wonderful news ❤️
You are Kidding ????
Why would we be kidding Rob? Hoping you are as excited as we are!
Wonderful and I would only be concerned for the safety of the Beavers.
Beavers and everything they do are evolved to keep themselves safe from predators like lynx and wolves historically, but humans and dogs nowadays just the same. They dam and create deep water with their lodge entrance accessed underwater safe from interference. We’re confident with the depth of water already present in the lagoon at Paradise Fields that our beavers will feel safe and secure very soon after arriving. And it will be exciting to see them shape the site so they have plenty of places to get away from any possible disturbance.
Great project but wondering if the beavers would kill too many trees/plants in the area? Not sure if local residents would be too happy about that
Hi Doris, the beavers will cut down some trees, but we can stop them from damaging certain trees quite easily with mesh or gritty sand paint around their trunks. And many of the trees they chop will grow back like pollarded or coppiced trees, opening up the canopy and improving the ecosystem. They won’t raze the area bare of trees but will change the landscape a bit but honestly, it will be an improvement as it will increase biodiversity and make Paradise Fields an even better place to see wildlife than it is now!