First beaver dam for 800 years

Beavers have built what is thought to be the first dam in England for 800 years.

Two beavers from Germany were introduced to the River Tale in Devon last year, and the pair have now built a 6ft dam from mud, bark and twigs on the Tale at Escot House, near Ottery St Mary.

Beavers were hunted to extinction in England and Wales in the 12th century. Since 2002, 15 beavers have been reintroduced to England, but they have lived on lakes and had no need to build dams.

John-Michael Kennaway, owner of the estate, believes that the beavers may now be rearing young: ‘The male beaver has been spotted feeding alone some distance from the lodge, whereas the female seems keen to stay close to their home.

‘This might suggest that she has young inside, but we won’t know until at least late July when they’re ready to come outside.’ The dam on the River Tale is thought to be the first beaver dam in England for 800 years.

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