Enclosed Beaver Trial
Dorset Wildlife Trust are running the Enclosed Beaver Trial for 5 years to investigate how beavers impact hydrology and biodiversity following reintroduction. Comprehensive baseline surveys were conducted at the site prior to the release for comparison and the evidence will add to a growing national evidence base on beaver reintroduction, whilst providing context relevant to Dorset's catchments.
The study will identify issues that arise, to consider how they could be managed or controlled in a long-term plan to reintroduce beavers in England.
The male and female pair of beavers from Scotland were introduced to the Dorset Wildlife Trust site in early spring 2021, and began building dams within days of their release.
The University of Exeter and Wessex Water will help Dorset Wildlife Trust monitor the site with assistance from other partners, such as Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust.
The trial will monitor:
- hydrology (flow rate and water quantity),
- sediment (turbidity and suspended solids),
- nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous),
- ecology (plants, invertebrates and fish)
- and vegetation structure (heterogeneity).
A range of monitoring methods will be used to assess changes, including fixed-point photography.