Devon Wildlife Trust scoop BBC award for beaver project

PUBLISHED: 16:01 15 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:01 15 March 2017

A female beaver with her kits. Credit Mike Symes

A female beaver with her kits. Credit Mike Symes

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The River Otter Beaver Trial has been named BBC Countryfile Magazine's Wildlife Success Story of the Year.

Devon Wildlife Trust has scooped a top BBC award for its work with beavers on the River Otter.

The charity has won BBC Countryfile Magazine’s Wildlife Success Story of the Year award after securing the most public votes.

The trust has been granted a five-year licence from Natural England to keep the beavers in its current habitat until 2020 – where a decision about their long term future will be made by the government.

The beavers are the first wild population of the animals to exist in England for 400 years.

Devon Wildlife Trust leads the River Otter Beaver Trial in partnership with Clinton Devon Estates, University of Exeter and the Derek Gow Partnership.

Mark Elliott, who manages the River Otter Beaver Trial, said: “We’re delighted to have won this prestigious BBC Countryfile Magazine Award. The fact that thousands of members of the public have taken the time to vote for beavers in Devon and in Scotland shows the wide support these charismatic creatures enjoy.”

“The BBC Countryfile Award stands as a tribute to the strong partnership we’ve established to conduct the trial. Our research is now beginning to show the important role that beavers could play across our wider countryside in improving water quality, mitigating against the worst effects of flooding and drought, and in benefiting other wildlife. The trial has a long way to go, but this is a very public endorsement of the work we’ve done with beavers here in Devon and of the trial that has already been carried out in Scotland.”

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