Saturday, 23 July 2011

Beavers at Ham Fen

Yes, there really are beavers at Ham Fen - possibly about 10 after four were introduced and breeding has been successful for the last three years.
There are European Beavers which became extinct about 1,000 years ago, and which have been introduced with the help of Wildwood, near Canterbury. The intention was to use them to manage the only piece of fenland in Kent, which they do by keeping the waterways clear, coppicing trees and controlling vegetation. And they do it for free, too, like good volunteers.
The warden, Tony Swandale, gave an informative (and quiet) commentary and we were lucky enough to see one swim past us underwater, and then float around in a pool showing its large size - rather like a labrador.
One of the lodges is near the path, and could be seen rather better than the photo might suggest. It's about four feet above the level of the bank.
Understandably the reserve is not open to the public. A video of the initial introduction is here:

Please note that the software has been set to delete any inappropriate comments.


Warren Baker said...

A welcome addition the countryside Steve, fantastic creatures :-)

Greenie said...

Steve ,
Never knew about them .
Very interesting .

Steve Gale said...

No, I'm not going to even attempt to test the 'software being set to delete any inappropriate comments'. But could you count it on a pan-species list Steve?