Beavers are to be reintroduced to a woodland in west London, and their water management of the landscape could reduce flooding at a nearby tube station.

A licence has been granted by Natural England for Eurasian beavers, a native British species and Europe’s largest rodent, to be introduced in Paradise Fields, a 10-hectare area of woodland and wetlands near Greenford tube station that’s owned by Ealing Council.

Beavers are what are described as a ‘keystone species’, meaning their dam-building activities make a key contribution to biodiversity and in helping other wildlife to thrive. By shaping the wetland, beavers can also help reduce the threat of flooding in winter months and, in particular, may help prevent the problems regularly experienced around Greenford tube station and surrounding streets.

Initially, the release of the beavers will be carried out as a controlled, enclosed trial, and the public will be allowed access to the wetland, once the beavers have settled in and the project progresses.

It will also offer a rare opportunity to see their habitat up close.

This new project is also expected to help a variety of important species, including Great Crested Newts, and could also lead to the reintroduction of water voles.

Dr Sean McCormack, chair and founder of Ealing Wildlife Group, said: “Many people assume beavers to be a wilderness species. In fact, we’ve just forgotten how closely we used to live alongside them. And we’ve forgotten the rich tapestry of life they can bring as engineers of healthy ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems clean our water and air, reduce flooding and drought, capture carbon to tackle climate change and boost biodiversity. We’re itching to get started and to get the community further involved, too.”

Citizen Zoo has started a fundraising appeal to support the beaver project’s running costs – details are here.


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One comment
  1. Chris Harry says:

    Follows last year’s Enfield beavers.!
    Can’t see anything on the council’s website on the camera to “soon be installed” or on the reported death of one of them
    Or on a replacement…

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