DWT allays fears over damaged River Otter trees

PUBLISHED: 06:30 15 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:31 16 March 2017

Iwitness24 member, Steve Mallon, believes these trees were felled by the resident beavers upstream from Otterton. Ref exb beaver damage. Picture: Steve Mallon

Iwitness24 member, Steve Mallon, believes these trees were felled by the resident beavers upstream from Otterton. Ref exb beaver damage. Picture: Steve Mallon

MallCrafts

Devon Wildlife Trust has allayed fears about the damage that beavers have been causing to trees in the Otter Valley.

A photograph taken by iwitness24 member Steve Mallon shows what appears to be a tree felled by a beaver near the River Otter.

Beavers were captured by government scientists two years ago to be tested for a range of diseases, but were found to be a healthy group.

Devon Wildlife Trust, under licence from Natural England, then re-released them into the River Otter, as part of a monitoring project which will continue until 2020.

Mark Elliott, beaver project lead for Devon Wildlife Trust, said: “This photo was taken in one of the main focus areas of the beavers this winter and this tree has been coppiced by a beaver. The majority of tree species that the beavers feed on quickly show signs of re-growth in response to beaver activity.

“The winter months are when the beavers are most noticeable, feeding on the bark and shoots of trees.

“They often fell trees in order to reach the upper branches for food, or to stimulate tree re-growth.”

Related story: Beaver project wins award

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