Eurasian Beavers (Castor fiber) are now legally protected in England as a European Protected Species (EPS).
What does this mean?
Legislation passed in Parliament on 1 October 2022 lists beavers on Schedule 2 of the Conservation of Habitat and Species Regulations (2017). As a result, beavers now receive the same legal protection as other EPS, such as bats, Otters, and Great Crested Newts.
It has become an offence to deliberately kill, injure, or disturb a beaver in England. It is also an offence to damage or destroy a beaver breeding site or resting place (such as a burrow, lodge, or associated dam). The parliamentary decision follows legislation in 2019 that provided similar protection for beavers in Scotland.
Wild populations of Eurasian Beaver in England remain limited and there are no fixed proposals for their wider release. Nonetheless, new wild populations are being recorded all the time. Recent sightings include the River Avon near Bath. Whilst sightings of beavers themselves are rare, signs of their presence can be obvious, including felled trees and dams.
How can we help?
Anyone working on or proposing the development of possible beaver habitats must consider their potential presence. Our team can provide you with accurate survey information, helping you make informed decisions. Ecological surveys for beaver can be undertaken throughout the year.
If beavers are present, we can help you prepare suitable ecological mitigation options and understand whether a mitigation licence from Natural England is needed. With the right design and mitigation strategy in place, we can help you to work in harmony with beavers.