Will the Prime Minister’s plan to “build back beaver” bring any benefits to the economy and businesses?

Q

Will the Prime Minister’s plan to “build back beaver” bring any benefits to the economy and businesses?

A

Some journalists were rather perplexed at the Prime Minister’s announcement back in October 2021, in his address to the Conservative Party Conference, that he would “Build Back Beaver”. However, this made perfect sense in the light of Defra’s consultation on beaver reintroductions, published on 25 August 2021. Stakeholders were given until 17 November 2021 to comment on the Government’s proposals to allow beavers to be introduced into the wild, subject to a new licensing regime.

While these endearing rodents are very popular with the public, there are concerns within the farming, forestry and fishing sectors that the beavers could have a destructive impact. Defra has based its proposal on research conducted in Devon where a family of beavers escaped into the River Otter, and has since formed a small colony. Scotland has two beaver colonies, one on Tayside which, like the Devon beavers, started with escapees, and another in Knapdale Forest, Argyllshire, which was a planned research project.

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