Coronavirus (COVID19) restrictions are providing a chance for nature to recover.
Today on 1 April beavers are being released in the Leith Hill area as part of a Defra backed programme to reverse the decline in nature and help to reduce flooding.
Rob Fairbanks, Surrey Hills AONB Director, states “we have been working with the Environment Agency on natural flood management in the Leith Hill area. The aim has been to dam up ditches and streams to hold back water and reduce water flows to reduce the incidence of flooding in the Dorking area. The beaver is nature’s way of creating these dams which also create wonderful wetland habitats that support important plant and animal species many of which are on the brink of survival.”
Local Farmer, Hugh Broom, who chairs the Surrey Hills Making Space for Nature programme, states that;
“landowners and farmers have an important role to play in reversing the decline in nature and tackling issues like climate change and flooding. We will however need to closely monitor activity to ensure beavers don’t get out of control.”
Caroline Price, Surrey Hills Communications Lead, states “Eventually it would be great to find beavers across the Surrey Hills. I think the public loves a furry beaver. This is very exciting.”
Nicky Scott, the National Trust’s Head Ranger for Leith Hill, has welcomed the initiative “Once the restrictions are lifted, we hope to organise beaver walks, talks and events such as beaver drawing and photography workshops.