Sunday, 11 January 2015

On the River Otter: Public meeting to consider beavers: Wednesday 14th January in Ottery St Mary

The Devon Wildlife Trust has applied to Natural England to return the beavers to the River Otter - and Natural England will be holding a meeting open to the public to discuss the issue:
Futures Forum: On the River Otter: Natural England responds to Devon Wildlife Trust's licence application to return beavers ......... Public meeting: Wednesday 14th January in Ottery St Mary

Here is a timely reminder from the Herald of that meeting:

Have your say on future of wild beavers

13:31 09 January 2015
The future of a family of beavers living wild on the River Otter will be the topic of discussion at a meeting next week – and residents are invited along to show their support.
The event at the Ottery Scout Centre in Winters Lane will form part of a consultation by Natural England on whether to grant a licence, which will allow the animals to be released back into the wild.
If successful, the licence application from Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) will allow the rodents to be trapped, tested for disease and then legally returned to their home, just downstream from Ottery.
The animals are believed to be England’s only example of beavers living in the wild and DWT hopes that their release will allow the charity to start a pioneering five-year project which will monitor the animals and assess their impact on the environment.
Dan Smith, from the charity, said the meeting at 6.30pm on Wednesday, January 14, would be a chance for people to learn more about the organisation’s plans, as well as an opportunity for the community to show its support for the animals to remain.
He said: “It’s absolutely important that the local community go along and have their chance to put their views across. We’d definitely encourage anyone who wants to see the beavers remain on the river to attend and make their views known.”
In July, government officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced plans to ‘recapture and rehome’ the animals because they could be carrying a disease not currently present in the UK. But DWT hopes that if its licence application is successful, and the beavers are found not to be carrying any disease, officers at Defra will reconsider their position and allow the animals 
to stay.
Have your say on future of wild beavers - News - Sidmouth Herald

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