A record number of beavers is set to be released later this year to reduce the risk of flooding and restore wetlands across the UK.
Research by Devon Wildlife Trust shows the beavers are able to engineer channels, dams and wetlands that hold back water and release it more slowly after heavy rain, helping to reduce the risk of flooding.
Their activities also prevent soil from being washed away after rainfall, while their dams filter water, cleaning it and reducing pollution downstream, according to study.
The first of the year’s releases took place in Dorset last week.
Craig Bennett, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said: “Beavers are a fantastic keystone species that have a hugely important role to play in restoring nature to Britain.
“We live in one of the most nature depleted countries in the world which is why we have a big ambition to protect 30% of land and sea for nature by 2030.
“We’re calling on the government to come up with an ambitious strategy to enable beavers to return to help tackle the climate crisis and improve wetlands for wildlife.”