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Essex beavers give birth to two healthy kits - Environment Agency

A natural flood management scheme in Essex has seen its "work force" double after the birth of two healthy kits.

Back in 2019 a pair of Eurasian Beavers were welcomed back to Essex for the first time in 400 years to help reduce flood risk in Finchingfield.

18 months on we are thrilled to announce the pioneering partnership project with the Environment Agency, Spains Hall Estate, the Essex & Suffolk Rivers Trust, Essex Wildlife Trust, and the Anglian Eastern Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC) has been a big success - and now there are four extra paws to help them continue their vital flood defence work.

The beaver duo, recently named Woody and Willow, have been working relentlessly over the last year in their Finchingfield enclosure on the historic Spains Hall Estate.

They have been building dams to reduce flood risk to the village and creating wetlands which release water during drier periods.

This is complemented by a human-made natural flood management scheme on a second strand of Finchingfield Brook, which features a “leaky dam” approach.

This consists of securing tree branches or trunks across a watercourse, which helps slow the flow after heavy rain.

We are excited to see how much more the beavers manage with the additional help.

Spains Hall Estate Manager Archie Ruggles-Brise said he was excited to see how much more protection the new additions to the beaver family will bring. He said: “We are delighted that our beavers have settled in so well that they have bred successfully. We always hoped that their woodland home would provide the right habitat to support a family, and the arrival of two kits is fantastic news. If they are anything like their parents the two kits will become phenomenal dam builders, and we will be watching closely as they expand the wetland and provide even more protection against flood and drought, and provide homes for loads of other wildlife. We are fortunate to have wildlife photographer, Russell Savory, keeping a close eye on the family, and providing everyone with such inspiring insights into their watery world.”

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