Defra has announced new legislation that will provide legal protections for beavers in England and could pave the way for the animals to be released into the wild under licence.
Beavers are key to creating thriving wetland ecosystems – which are critical for climate adaptation – and provide a wealth of benefits for nature and people.
The change in legal status will make it an offence to deliberately capture, kill, disturb, or injure beavers, or damage their breeding sites or resting places – without holding the appropriate licence. The legislation is scheduled to come into force in the autumn.
In parallel, Natural England is developing guidance on the management of beavers, setting out which actions will or will not require a licence, and where people can go for advice.
Beaver data on the NBN Atlas
Find out what data we hold on the NBN Atlas for the Eurasian Beaver (Castor fiber)
We currently don’t have any images for the beaver, so if you have any photos that you are happy to share with the NBN Atlas, you can find out how to do so on the Atlas Help site