The first baby beaver to be born in London for hundreds of years has been seen. The “kit” was spotted for the first time this summer in the grounds of Forty Hall Estate in Enfield, north London.
Enfield Council launched London’s first beaver reintroduction programme in 2022, with the aim of bringing beavers back to the capital for the first time in 400 years. Their reintroduction is part of a rewilding and natural flood-management project. Beavers were hunted to extinction in England but have been introduced in recent times to some areas across the country.
London’s environmental college Capel Manor, which is working with the council and conservationists the Beaver Trust, now plans to capture the young beaver to check its health and sex, before releasing it again.
Enfield Council’s cabinet member for environment, Rick Jewell, said: “This is wonderful news. The adult beavers are quite young so we weren’t sure that they would breed successfully in such a short space of time. You can already see the positive impact the beavers are having through their natural landscaping of the area.
“The beavers’ hard work creating a natural wetland ecosystem will contribute to flood defences, protecting the local area and hundreds of homes from flooding downstream, while encouraging local biodiversity to thrive. They really are remarkable animals.”
Meg Wilson, Capel Manor College’s animal collections manager, said: “We are now focusing our efforts on collecting data, which we hope will further evidence the positive effects the beavers are having on the environment.”