We explore what that means, Grazing and browsing animals perform a vital role in shaping landscapes and driving natural processes. Jack Rear goes on a ‘hush-hush’ mission somewhere ‘near Coventry’. Working with. Re-established after wild boar were imported from Europe for meat farming in the Eighties and animals escaped into the wild. Some species that we lost we’ve already brought back, such as red squirrel (returned in the 1800s), red kite and golden eagle. Re-established in eastern England in the Seventies and introduced to the Somerset Levels in 2010. The UK’s deer population is at its highest level for 1,000 years, some two million in our countryside and semi-urban areas, and while he salutes tree planting projects, O’Donoghue points out that unless there is an apex predator, “All we’re doing by planting trees is feeding deer. Andrew continues: While reintroductions may be difficult, they’re fundamentally worth doing. We are making sure our forests, and the wildlife that depends on them, have the best chance in the future. Such conflicts occur when wildlife is perceived to have an undesirable impact economically or on human wellbeing. Guiding me is Pete Burgess, who has worked on the River Otter Beaver Trial since the late 2000s. The Welsh beaver project is currently working to reintroduce beavers into the Welsh landscape.

Some of these will come to a large enclosure in England in 2022. “In February 2015 five beavers were spotted by a local naturalist in the River Otter,” explains Burgess. Suffice to say, this year 10 pairs bred, with 23 chicks (up on 14 last year). Beaver reintroduction can, therefore, be classified as a success in this regard. And reintroductions can also bring economic benefits. You need to be a subscriber to join the conversation. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines on the reintroduction of a species state that the anticipated impact of such programs has to be considered, including the impact on humans before initiating such schemes. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Since the mid-20th century, reintroduction programs throughout Europe have led to the return of beavers in over 25 countries. Undated photo showing bison from the Kraansvlak herd in the Netherlands. When you improve the woodland for dormice, you improve the woodland for a wide range of other species.”. In 2019, licences were given for the release of 60 sea eagles over five years on the South Coast of England, a welcome return after 240 years. The farmers are worried that the species which has not been in the country for hundreds of years could affect several benefits obtained in their absence. The first reintroduction of a nationally extinct species in the 20th century is thought to be the white tailed eagle, Britain’s largest bird of prey.

As the herd grows in size, the plan is to move some animals to other sites in the UK. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has led this first formal reintroduction of a charismatic species, once a familiar feature of English woodlands – but which had been reduced to a population of fewer than 20. There are now approaching 1,000 beavers living wild in the rivers and streams of Britain, following its disappearance 400 years ago. Reintroductions have the potential to create profound benefits for nature and people by saving species and restoring the function of ecosystems.

Human-human conflicts occur between groups holding differing perceptions on wildlife and management solutions. Each and every species lost has an impact; they all have a role to play in our environment.

Some specific habitats and species of high conservation importance can, however, be adversely affected by beaver populations if appropriate management is not done. Bison are being introduced to a British woodland to restore an ancient habitat and its wildlife, conservationists have said. There are currently around 2,000 birds. It’s about looking at what fits best and serves an ecological function, and is palatable and of benefit to society as a whole.”, And if everything went to plan and natural processes in the landscape and species were helped to recover? You recognise them by the fish in their talons,” says my taxi driver on the way to the visitor centre. For 140 years after that, they prospered before succumbing to habitat loss and climate change from the 1970s. And in July 2015, one was spotted in Shropshire. Rewilding has become something of a dangerous word, redolent as it is of bears and wolves. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. But I’m not on an M16 mission seeking a Russian mole: I’m on the hunt for dormice. Populations of the UK’s most important wildlife have plummeted by an average of 60% since 1970.

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