BEAVER babies have been spotted at a Cheshire nature reserve following the species' reintroduction.

Cheshire Wildlife Trust has announced that three new beaver kits have been born at Hatchmere Nature Reserve, near Delamere Forest.

The trio are the second litter of Eurasian beaver pair Rowan and Willow, following the arrival of their first kits, Bramble and Aspen, last summer.

Kev Feeney, programme manager for rivers and wetlands at Cheshire Wildlife Trust, said: “It’s fantastic to learn the news of three new beaver kits being born at Hatchmere.

“In under three years, we now have a nice little family living together creating a new diverse wetland landscape that didn’t exist previously.”

Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s beaver reintroduction project at Hatchmere is one of 25 currently taking place across England, with other sites in the South West, Kent, Gloucestershire, East Anglia and Yorkshire.

When Rowan and Willow were release at the end of 2020, they became the first beavers to call Cheshire home in 400 years, with the species having become extinct in England in the 16th century.

The latest arrivals, spotted on wildlife cameras, mean there are now seven beavers living together at the release site.

The young are expected to stay near the family lodge for several years before leaving to set up their own territory.

The reintroduction is part of the trust’s five-year ‘nature-led’ project, which aims to save and restore the wetland ecosystem at Hatchmere.

Mr Feeney says the beaver’s behaviour over the past six months has helped bring the trust closer to this goal.

He said: “The aims of the project were to create a diverse wetland to support a whole host of wildlife and to improve the water quality flowing downstream into Hatchmere Nature Reserve.

“Early research is indicating that these aims are being met. 

“Waterfowl numbers have increased dramatically with lots of breeding on site and multiple families of ducklings present at any one time.

“Water entering the site has slowed down allowing natural processes to take place, sediments are being trapped by the dams and is now lower in nutrients as it reaches Hatchmere lake.”

Northwich Guardian: Eurasian beaver pair Rowan and Willow were released in 2020Eurasian beaver pair Rowan and Willow were released in 2020 (Image: Rachel Bradshaw)

In order for the trust to carry out the rest of its project, an additional £12,000 has to be raised.

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