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Beavers were hunted to extinction in the UK about 400 years ago

Plymouth beavers plan – what do you think?

Scientists want to know what the people of Plymouth think about plans to release beavers into a fenced enclosure in the city.

Beavers were hunted to extinction in the UK about 400 years ago, but Plymouth is one of several areas investigating the potential impacts of reintroducing them.

The city council plans to release Eurasian beavers into the Seaton and Lower Bircham Valley Nature Reserve, pending licence approval from Natural England.

Roger Auster, of the University of Exeter, said: “Our impartial survey provides an opportunity for residents in Plymouth to give their views about the project, prior to the potential presence of beavers.

“We want to understand public opinion, as well as how the presence of beavers might influence people’s use of a local nature reserve.

“The survey is anonymous and should only take five or ten minutes to complete.

“The results will be reported to Plymouth City Council and the partnership Project Board, and to the River Otter Beaver Trial if appropriate.”

The survey, open until 12:00pm on Monday 20 May, is available online at

If the project goes ahead, researchers will examine the impact of beavers on water quality, biodiversity, community engagement, water levels, wildlife tourism and vegetation.

This study is funded by Plymouth City Council, Devon Wildlife Trust and University of Exeter.

To contact the research team directly, email

Date: 17 April 2019

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