Beaver in Avon New Cut

On 13th April a beaver was spotted exploring the bank of the Avon New Cut underneath Bedminster Bridge. Our photograph was taken by Ian Wilson who posted this and other images on Facebook BS3 Wildlife Group. The beaver was spotted going upstream along the south bank of the New Cut towards Bedminster Bridge at around 10.20 in the morning. The Bristol Post coverage also has a video of the beaver. An otter has been seen in Bathurst Basin but we doubt that beavers will find their way here.

The Eurasian beaver is native to Britain but they were hunted to extinction in this country in the 1500s. The presence of beavers once again on the River Avon was first confirmed in September 2021. According to the Avon Wildlife Trust, beavers are nature’s engineers and create natural solutions to some of the environment’s biggest problems including flooding, carbon storage and plant biodiversity.

Natural England commissioned a full-scale survey during January-March 2022 on canoe and foot, covering approximately 280km of the Avon and its tributaries into the countryside of North East Somerset and Wiltshire.  The results from the survey were published in March 2023. Incredibly, the surveyors discovered 13 different established beaver family territories that appear to have been well-established for a few years. Based on the number of territories, a population of at least 50 beavers, excluding kits, is estimated.

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