In spring 2020 The Trust announced their plans and appeal to bring beavers back to Derbyshire and have been overjoyed at the positive response received. Due to the fantastic funds raised by our supporters, the £75,000 grant from Biffa Award and a total of £150,000 from Severn Trent, The Trust has been able to DOUBLE the size of the planned beaver enclosure at Willington from the 20 acres originally planned to now more than 40 hectares.
Natural England – the Government agency responsible for licensing the release and homing of the beavers - has reviewed and licensed the plans, and agreed that the Willington Area is large enough for two beaver families.
This is fantastic news for Derbyshire’s beavers but does that a lot of work is now underway preparing the much larger site. The Trust hopes that our two beaver families will be released in autumn this year.
This isn't just about the reintroduction of a species - it's about the reintroduction of an entire ecosystem that has been lost. Beavers are known as nature's engineers. They make changes to their habitats which create diverse wetlands for other species to thrive.
Kate Lemon, Regional Manager at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said; “We are delighted to be one step closer to bringing beavers back to Derbyshire on our Willington Wetland reserve and cannot thank the generosity of the public, the support from Severn Trent and the Biffa Award enough. Bringing beavers back is a big step towards our vision of rewilding Derbyshire”
Rachel Maidment, Grants Manager for Biffa Award said; “Beavers and their landscaping behaviour benefits both people and wildlife. We're thrilled at Biffa Award to be able to support such an exciting project that is going to transform Willington Wetlands in the Trent Valley."
Graham Osborn, Principal Ecologist for Severn Trent, said: “It’s a really exciting time for this project, which we’re proud to support through our Great Big Nature Boost scheme.
“Looking after water means looking after nature too. That’s why we’re backing these plans to bring two beaver families back to Derbyshire. Their return to Willington Wetlands will bring many benefits for the local area, including the reduced risk of flooding, as well as capturing and cleaning nearby waterways.”