Beavers have been slowly reintroduced across Britain (Picture: Getty/iStockphoto)
Two baby beavers have been born in the Forest of Dean – and can be seen testing out their swimming skills at night.
The two kits arrived in April, but spent the first months of life in their lodge so have only recently been spotted by Forestry England staff.
Next month marks five years since the reintroduction of Eurasian beavers to the forest – the species was driven to extinction in Britain in the 16th century due to hunting.
Since arriving, the beavers have transformed the landscape, building dams that create pools and wetlands, helping improve water quality by filtering sediments and reducing flooding by slowing water flow.
The mother of the kits was introduced into the six hectare site in October as part of the Greathough Brook project. The male arrived in 2019 but his first mate died in 2022.
The new arrivals are the first kits born as part of the project, one of several around the country.
The two new arrivals have been venturing out of the lodge (Picture: Forestry England Crown copyright)
‘We are delighted with this news,’ said Forestry England assistant ecologist Kate Wollen. ‘July will mark five years since the Greathough Brook beaver project began, and what better way to celebrate than with the birth of two baby kits.
‘We are also celebrating as this year we have been given a five-year licence to continue the project.
A kit leads the way into the water (Picture: Forestry England Crown copyright)
‘We will be monitoring to ensure the beavers and their new kits remain healthy, and we are excited to see the increased, positive environmental impact that the larger family will have.’
Forestry England has a second beaver reintroduction scheme in Cropton Forest, North Yorkshire, which has resulted in kits every year since 2019.
The agency has pledged to prioritise returning lost species to the country’s forests and restoring natural processes.
Two kits have made their debut.