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European Beaver (Castor fiber)

Beavers are ‘ecosystem engineers’, and a keystone species, likely to enact significant changes to their environment. These changes can be beneficial, providing significant benefits for flow regulation, water quality, habitat diversity, and in many cases creating new and valuable wetland habitats. However, these changes also have the potential to cause conflict or even harm depending on the socio-economic and environmental constraints of their immediate environment. Impacts may include damage to trees, property or farmland, locally increased flood risk, and risks to fish passage. These issues are likely to be most acute where existing constraints, such as man-made river modifications, already present significant challenges.

Unauthorised releases of beavers have been made and colonies are now established on both the River Wylye and River Nadder.  The Wylye Fly Fishing club has prepared a document on its preparations (link button at bottom of page)

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WFFC waters, like many chalk streams in the Wessex region, are situated within a mosaic of designated, heavily protected, and managed habitats. Some of the landowners within the Wylye Valley are actively exploring large-scale wetland restoration as part of a successful Landscape Recovery bid. Beavers may provide some ecological synergies to this endeavour. However, our landscape is also interspersed with a high number of historic mills, low bridges, and low-lying riparian properties. As such, it is likely that we will require a bespoke and localised approach to beaver management in. Maximising the potential benefits, and avoiding or mitigating the potential risks, will likely require both reactive (alteration of beaver-made structures) and pro-active management (protection of at-risk trees, structures/building etc.).

It is highly unlikely that Beavers will cause problems on our waters, but the Wylye Fly Fishing Club River Manager undertaking the required training to manage any potential issues (year round) should this become necessary on any of the club waters.  

Please report any beaver sightings on club beats to the club secretary so that the River Manager can be made aware

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