Hazel And Chompy Become First Beavers To Live In English County In 400 Years

It’s hard to believe it has been four centuries since beavers have lived in Hampshire. After such a long absence, they are now back again.

According to The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, beavers were hunted to extinction many years ago, but they were missed by the ecosystem. As prolific dam builders, they brought much to the freshwater areas of English County.

Photo: Flickr/NTNU, Faculty of Natural Sciences License: CC BY 2.0

The BBC reports that the two beavers reintroduced to the area are Hazel and Chompy. Schoolchildren named those Eurasian beavers, and even though they aren’t familiar with each other, it is hoped that they will breed and little beavers will be born.

The Ewhurst Estate near Basingstoke, Hampshire was the area of release for these two beavers. It is a 925-acre property owned by Mandy Lieu, a Malaysian model, and actress.

She is more than happy to have them on her property. The estate shared about the beaver’s release on Facebook:

Beavers were highly prized for their fur, which is why they were hunted so heavily in England and the United States. These days, they are not needed so much for their fur but for their unique ability to build dams that can build up streams and ponds in the area.

As the dams slow down the movement of water, it helps reduce the possibility of floods downstream and benefits wetlands in the area. Many animals will thrive due to the dam-building activities of these and other beavers.

Photo: Flickr/Jeff Hudgins / Alabama License: CC BY 2.0

The best benefit of all is the fact that beavers do this for free. This was brought out nicely by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, which was responsible for reintroducing the beavers into the area.

The trust went on to say: “Beavers offer a nature-based solution to improving the health and function of river catchments. The beaver-created wetlands can act as sponges which can capture organic sediments, and reduce the effects of agricultural runoff and harmful chemicals such as pesticides, which in turn helps to improve water quality downstream.”

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