‘Eager Beaver’ nets £700 for wildlife charity

Emma Bowring presenting the painting to DWT at the Trust’'s Cricklepit Mill HQ

Emma Bowring presenting the painting to DWT at the Trust’'s Cricklepit Mill HQ - Credit: Archant

An environmental charity is ‘getting closer to securing a future’ for a family of beavers living on the River Otter thanks to support from an East Devon wildlife artist and a popular television presenter.

Emma Bowring put brush to canvas to create an oil painting which she donated to the ‘wild beavers’ fundraising appeal organised by the Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT).

A buyer for the Emma’s piece, entitled Eager Beaver, was found almost immediately and its sale has since raised £700.

The Membury-based artist said: “I’d seen on the news the story about the work DWT is doing to try and secure the future of the River Otter beavers.

“I read on the DWT website about the proposed monitoring project and the need to raise funds to make it happen - and I wanted to do something to help.”

The charity’s appeal aims to keep the beavers living wild on the Otter by securing a government licence for a five-year monitoring project to assess their impact on local landscapes, wildlife and communities.

DWT’s licence application is being considered by Natural England, and the charity has set a fundraising target of £54,000 by the end of 2014 to pay for the first phase of the trial.

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This comes as BBC naturalist Chris Packham used social media to highlight the campaign to his 112,000 Twitter followers on Saturday (December 6) - prompting an influx of donations to the environmental charity.

Dan Smith, from the DWT, said: “It was fantastic to see Chris’s support – he’s been such a passionate advocate for wildlife for so many years and his fans responded with a flurry of donations.

“We’re now two-thirds of the way towards our fundraising target after just four weeks – so we’re getting closer to securing a future for the River Otter beavers.”

Dan added that the presence of the beavers just downstream from Ottery could even influence artistic tastes.

He said: “Emma told us that the most popular British animal for her commissions is the otter.

If the Government grants DWT the licence to keep Devon’s beavers in the wild, perhaps Emma will begin receiving requests for beaver paintings.”

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