Since Chris Jones of the Beaver Trust and I, first spoke about reintroducing beavers to the Caen catchment, a lot has happened. We have held Zoom meetings with Braunton Parish Council, Devon Wildlife Trust’s North Devon Farming group, Braunton Communities Forum and Braunton Countryside Centre.
A Caen Catchment Beaver Partnership group with members from North Devon Biosphere
Chris has visited the Caen catchment three times to speak to landowners and assess stream habitat, and a tremendous forty two landowners have said “Yes” to beavers! There is remarkable positivity, which has allowed CCBP to plan for the possibility of large stretches of the catchment being colonised by beavers.
The landowner search is still ongoing. Please can you speak to your neighbouring stream owners? If they have not heard of this project, please let me know and I will contact them.
Also, in some parts of the catchment there is a lack of beaver food, and willow cuttings from local trees will need to be planted to address this issue. If you can help out with willow planting in any way, please let me know. That may be because you have old sheep netting and stakes that can be reused to protect an area of willow cuttings from grazing animals whilst they become established, or because you have willow trees on your land that are large enough to take cuttings from, or simply because you have a pair of secateurs and you know how to use them!
Finally, thanks for your help in making this happen. CCBP is truly groundbreaking, a first for this country, it has the potential to change flood management in communities right across the UK, for the better.
And if you cannot wait for the return of beavers to North Devon, here is a tremendous short film from BBC Earth on beavers at Chris’s farm in Cornwall
If you would like to see a recording of the presentation from the Caen Catchment Beaver Partnership and Q&A: https://youtu.be/E1QPKMtcjhw