Beaver training day!
Ten members of CMG joined a similar number from Devon Mammal Group at Cookworthy Forest for our Beaver Training Day run by the Tamar Beaver Management Partnership in recognition of our contribution to their start-up funding, In a bracingly cool barn (door wide open for ventilation) we learnt about the progress of reintroductions into the UK, both managed and informal. The Southwest has the largest number of beavers in England and is at the forefront of research into their management and impacts. We heard about the work on the River Otter in Devon and how that is informing management on the populations now resident on the Tamar catchment as well as the fenced sites across the county. We heard about beaver biology and ecology including the effect of beaver activity of landscapes and biodiversity as well as the practical difficulties of handling these enormous rodents (up to 30 kg for a breeding female) and the mysteries of beaver sexing. Finally, we went out on the North Devon site to look at field signs and discuss surveys.