By Lucia McQuillan-Puccetti
Ealing will be the first urban-setting to introduce beavers in the UK, as part of a rewilding project. In the 16th century, beavers were hunted all across Britain for their meat, fur and glands; only last year were beavers acknowledged as native wildlife and given legal protection in England. Thanks to the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who has given £40,000 funding to several conservation groups, beavers will finally return to West London after 400 years.
The Ealing Wildlife Group have announced that breeding pairs of Eurasian beavers may be introduced this autumn. They aim to promote how these creatures can help to reduce the impacts of flooding and overall combat climate change. Sadiq Khan has also declared his plans to convert Paradise Fields, in Greenford, into a wetland for nature and biodiversity. He stated, “Despite the harm inflicted on the natural world, we have the power to make amends, and I am committed to ensuring that London is at the vanguard of efforts to reverse the trends of declining biodiversity and the destruction of nature.”
There are a total of 22 projects in London which are currently striving to introduce animals such as bees, bats, birds and fish to the capital city. These projects will transform and restore approximately 116 hectares of land into animal habitats.