3 new beaver kits - hatchmere reserve

Three new beaver kits have been born at Hatchmere Nature Reserve near Delamere Forest, says Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

Original beaver pairing Rowan and Willow have successfully bred for a second time, increasing their family by another three.

It builds on the first kits Bramble and Aspen who were born in Summer 2022.

The latest additions mean there are now seven beavers living together at the release site.

They are expected to stay near the family lodge for several years before dispersing to set up their own territory.

Breeding takes place between December and April and the pregnancy lasts for around 103 days.

Females give birth to their litter of 1-6 young in early summer (the average litter is 2-3 young).

The young, called kits, spend their first few months hidden in a lodge, when they eventually venture out into the world they set to work felling trees and building dams much like mini versions of their parents.

Kev Feeney, Programme Manager for Rivers and Wetlands at Cheshire Wildlife Trust, said: “It’s fantastic to learn the news of three new beaver kits being born at Hatchmere.

“In under three years, we now have a nice little family living together creating a new diverse wetland landscape that didn’t exist previously.”

Rachel Bradshaw (C) pair of beavers hatchmere
Pair of beavers hatchmere – Rachel Bradshaw (C)

Over the last six months, water levels have increased with the creation and expansion of dams, one of which is now over 200 metres long and another over a metre high.

Effects of the lack of rain and annual drought is not being seen on the beaver created wetland where water levels are maintained.

Holding water on site is also re-charging the surrounding area.

Kev Feeney added: “The aims of the project were to create a diverse wetland to support wildlife and improve the water quality flowing downstream into Hatchmere Nature Reserve.

“Early research is indicating that these aims are being met.

“Waterfowl numbers have increased dramatically with lots of breeding on site and multiple families of ducklings present at any one time.

“Water entering the site has slowed down allowing natural processes to take place, sediments are being trapped by the dams and is now lower in nutrients as it reaches Hatchmere lake.”

Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s five-year ‘nature-led’ project aims to save and restore the wetland ecosystem at Hatchmere Nature Reserve.

The Trust still needs to raise £17,000 to complete their five-year project.

Visit www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/beaver-appeal to donate.

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