Beavers return to Hampshire for first time in 400 years


A pair of Eurasian Beavers has been released as part of a rewilding scheme on a former shooting estate in Hampshire.

The mammals were introduced on the 374-ha Ewhurst estate near Basingstoke. Estate owner Mandy Lieu said she was "thrilled" to bring back beavers to Hampshire after a 400-year absence.

The beavers being released on the Ewhurst Estate (Ewhurst Estate).

The two beavers were released into a waterway on the estate. It is hoped that, in time, they will breed. They have been named Chompy and Hazel following a competition run for local school children.

Rob Needham, of the Beaver Trust, said "Both beavers left the crates and swam off quite calmly. As ecosystem engineers, beavers provide multiple benefits in terms of habitat creation and wetland creation which ultimately provides homes and habitats for other species insects, birds and fish. But also for climate resilience, these dams will help hold water back and alleviate flooding further downstream."

Ms Lieu, a Malaysian-born model, entrepreneur and environmentalist, sees the beavers as a key part of transforming Ewhurst, the former seat of the Duke of Wellington. The rewilding project entails turning its parkland, farmland and woodlands into an "edible landscape" that restores nature at the same time as producing food.