Beaver reintroduction consultation: Have your say

beaver with stick web crop_49599

The NFU will be responding to the beaver reintroduction consultation and is inviting members to feed into our response.

Defra plans to release beavers into the wild in England marks a step towards establishing native beaver populations.

It has launched a consultation that will run until 17 November relating to beavers in England only.

Under the government’s proposals, applications for licences to release beavers into the wild would need to meet certain criteria, including demonstrating positive stakeholder engagement and local buy in, and proof that a comprehensive assessment has been undertaken of the impacts on surrounding land, the water environment, infrastructures, habitats, and protected species.

Projects must also ensure that support for landowners and river users is put in place.

Have your say in the consultation

The NFU will be responding to the consultation and would like to hear from members, especially when it comes to impact on farm business, to help inform our response.

We have pulled out specific questions and given high-level analysis of the consultation document in the NFU member-only briefing below to help you develop and communicate your views.

Please read the briefing and send feedback to Alisha Anstee by 5pm on 8 October 2021.

Read NFU environment forum chair's response

Responding to the launch of a consultation, NFU environment forum chairman Richard Bramley said:

“British farmers and growers are experts at making the most of their natural environment to produce climate-friendly food.

“It is positive that any reintroduction will be strictly licensed by Natural England and it is important any approved licensing includes a long-term management plan, developed with local farmers and backed with adequate funding. Any impact on a farmer’s ability to produce food needs to be included as part of a full impact assessment carried out before any licence is issued.

“We must remember that beaver reintroductions can have negative impacts - potentially undermining riverbanks, damaging trees, impeding farmland drainage and causing low-lying fields to flood.
“Where there is a financial impact on a farm business, adequate compensation must be made and an exit strategy must be in place should major issues occur.

“We are committed to working with Natural England and interested parties to deliver the best outcomes.”