The Arrival Of New Beavers To Derbyshire
It has been over 400 years since beavers were hunted out of existence in the UK and 800 years since they were last seen in Derbyshire. However, a new beaver family has been setting up their home around a disused Derbyshire quarry.
Earlier this year, we wrote about our involvement in this hugely exciting project and in late summer 2021, the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, with the help of supporters including our team here at Atlantic Pumps, released the beavers into the Willington Wetlands Nature Reserve in South Derbyshire.
How Do Beavers Help The Ecosystem?
The Willington beaver family came from Scotland, where similar reintroduced beaver colonies are already boosting ecotourism. As the cold weather approaches, the beavers are expected to get busy with building a lodge; their home for the winter. What looks like a pile of twigs, mud, and branches from the surface of the water is a cosy, safe home for raising a baby beaver Derbyshire locals will love to see.
Building the lodges is one way in which beavers help improve the local ecosystem. The structures created by beavers form dynamic and diverse wetland areas as they help slow down fast-flowing rivers and streams to reduce flooding downstream and create a series of pools and marshy areas. This is good for all kinds of wildlife (plants, insects, and animals) but is particularly important for people at Willington, where the local village has been at risk from winter flooding.
Boosting Ecotourism and The Economy
The goal of the Derbyshire beaver programme is to bring all the benefits of ecotourism and natural flood and wetlands management to Derbyshire and make good use of old industrial sites. Quarrying is an important industry, but it can have adverse effects on the natural environment. The effects of quarrying on water quality include silty water or water that is too acidic or alkaline which has an impact on the local habitat.
With this in mind, at Atlantic Pumps we have contributed to ensure the Willington Wetlands Nature Reserve’s water quality is safe for beavers. We were very pleased to get involved as the project fitted well with our commitment to sustainability and reducing energy wastage from pumps, and we’re proud to have our name associated with this impressive and good-for-the-planet endeavour.
How Can People Get Involved?
The Wildlife Trust has created a safe and secure 40-hectare enclosure for the beavers at Willington and is encouraging visitors to use specially constructed bird hides and viewing platforms to catch sight of these fascinating new residents. Donations are also always welcome.