Environment & Conservation > Conservation > Devon Beavers (121) More files...
Once part of the native British fauna, beavers were hunted to extinction some centuries ago but are now once again living wild and breeding in the UK. The Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) is involved in two separate beaver conservation projects. The first is on a securely-fenced enclosure where a pair of beavers were introduced in 2011, and have since successfully bred. Studies of this group of animals show that beavers are effective at reducing woodland encroachment and the numerous ponds they create slow the rate of water flow, helping to reduce flooding downstream.

In 2014, DWT got involved with the population of beavers living in the wild in the river Otter. There had been sightings of these animals for a few years but once it was confirmed that the beavers were breeding in the wild, Defra proposed that they should be removed from the river, citing the risk of non-native diseases. DWT opposed this plan and proposed a solution: testing the beavers to prove they were free of non-native infectious disease, then re-releasing them on the river Otter as part of a five-year monitoring study. The River Otter Beaver Trial is England’s first beaver re-introduction project in the wild. In January 2015, Natural England granted DWT a licence to release beavers into the wild as part of this project. After the beavers had been screened for disease, they had ear-tags fitted for monitoring purposes and were re-released on the river Otter in late March, where subsequently one of the female beavers gave birth to at least two young. In May 2016 two new beavers were introduced into the river in an effort to increase genetic diversity in the population. In June 2016 five kits were born to the newly released beaver pair, an unprecedented number of young for a single female.

The River Otter Beaver Trial is led by Devon Wildlife Trust, working in partnership with the University of Exeter, Clinton Devon Estates and the Derek Gow Consultancy. It aims to to monitor the impacts of these wild-living beavers on the River Otter, and investigate how they colonise the river and impact the ecology and existing users of the valley.

NPL photographer Nick Upton has had privileged access to shoot both stills and footage of the veterinary checks and release of these wild beavers. He has also taken images at different times of the captive beavers in their enclosure and their effects on the landscape, and of the beaver kits born in the wild after the release.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) mother suckling one of her five kits on the banks of the River Otter, Devon, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) mother suckling one of her five kits on the banks of the River Otter, Devon, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) mother and three of her kits eating stems and leaves of Common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium) which she has cut. On the margins of the River Otter alongside the father,... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) mother and three of her kits eating stems and leaves of Common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium) which she has cut. On the margins of the River Otter alongside the father,...
Young Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kit swimming , River Otter near its lodge, Devon, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Young Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kit swimming , River Otter near its lodge, Devon, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial.
Pair of Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber) grooming, with kits playing nearby, Devon, England, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Pair of Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber) grooming, with kits playing nearby, Devon, England, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) father grooming on margins of the River Otter at night as his five kits feed on a willow sapling the mother has brought for the family to feed on, Devon, UK, July. Part... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) father grooming on margins of the River Otter at night as his five kits feed on a willow sapling the mother has brought for the family to feed on, Devon, UK, July. Part...
Female Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) grooming, with kit suckling, Devon, England, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Female Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) grooming, with kit suckling, Devon, England, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial.
Female Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) swimming, dragging a Willow (Salix) sapling, River Otter, Devon, England, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Female Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) swimming, dragging a Willow (Salix) sapling, River Otter, Devon, England, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial.
Male Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) and kit grooming on the River Otter at night, Devon, England, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Male Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) and kit grooming on the River Otter at night, Devon, England, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) male nibbling a willow twig alongside one of his five kits at night , River Otter, Devon, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) male nibbling a willow twig alongside one of his five kits at night , River Otter, Devon, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) mother resting on the banks of the River Otter at night as one of her five kits climbs onto her back, Devon, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) mother resting on the banks of the River Otter at night as one of her five kits climbs onto her back, Devon, UK, July. Part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Trial.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) emerging from an artificial lodge after sunset, at a secret location during a beaver reintroduction by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, May 2016. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) emerging from an artificial lodge after sunset, at a secret location during a beaver reintroduction by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, May 2016.
Roisin Campbell-Palmer with an Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) in a transport crate about to be released to a secret location by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, May 2016. Model released. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Roisin Campbell-Palmer with an Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) in a transport crate about to be released to a secret location by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, May 2016. Model released.
Peter Burgess opening the entrance to an artificial lodge containing Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) at a secret location during a beaver reintroduction by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, May 2016. Mo... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Peter Burgess opening the entrance to an artificial lodge containing Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) at a secret location during a beaver reintroduction by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, May 2016. Mo...
Peter Burgess, Mark Elliott and Roisin Campbell-Palmer wait for an Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) to move from its transport crate into an artificial lodge built at a secret location by Devon Wildlife... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Peter Burgess, Mark Elliott and Roisin Campbell-Palmer wait for an Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) to move from its transport crate into an artificial lodge built at a secret location by Devon Wildlife...
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) carried in a transport crate by Peter Burgess and Dr. Richard Brazier for release at a secret location by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, May 2016. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) carried in a transport crate by Peter Burgess and Dr. Richard Brazier for release at a secret location by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, May 2016.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) swimming  at dusk after emerging from an artificial lodge, at a secret location during a beaver reintroduction by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, May 2016. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) swimming at dusk after emerging from an artificial lodge, at a secret location during a beaver reintroduction by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, May 2016.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) emerging from an artificial lodge and approaching water, at secret location during a beaver reintroduction by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, May 2016. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) emerging from an artificial lodge and approaching water, at secret location during a beaver reintroduction by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, May 2016.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) in transport crate, about to be released to a secret location by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, May 2016. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) in transport crate, about to be released to a secret location by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, May 2016.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) entering the River Otter after release. Part of escaped population re-released to the wild following veterinary check ups. Taken on the second day of Beaver releases aft... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) entering the River Otter after release. Part of escaped population re-released to the wild following veterinary check ups. Taken on the second day of Beaver releases aft...
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) on bank of River Otter after release. Part of escaped population re-released to the wild following veterinary check ups. Taken on the second day of Beaver releases after... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) on bank of River Otter after release. Part of escaped population re-released to the wild following veterinary check ups. Taken on the second day of Beaver releases after...
Young Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kit swimming at dusk, born in the wild on the River Otter, part of a release project managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, England, UK, August 2015. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Young Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kit swimming at dusk, born in the wild on the River Otter, part of a release project managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, England, UK, August 2015.
Two Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kits feeding on Willow (Salix) at night, born in the wild on the River Otter, part of a release project managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, England, UK, Augu... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Two Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kits feeding on Willow (Salix) at night, born in the wild on the River Otter, part of a release project managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, England, UK, Augu...
Young Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) feeding on a willow branch overhanging the River Otter at dusk, part of a release project managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, England, UK, August 2015. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Young Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) feeding on a willow branch overhanging the River Otter at dusk, part of a release project managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, England, UK, August 2015.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kit feeding on Willow (Salix), born in the wild on the River Otter, part of a release project managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, England, UK, August 2015. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kit feeding on Willow (Salix), born in the wild on the River Otter, part of a release project managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, England, UK, August 2015.
Young Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kit swimming. Wild kit born in the River Otter, during Devon Beaver Trial, managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust. Devon, UK, August 2015. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Young Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kit swimming. Wild kit born in the River Otter, during Devon Beaver Trial, managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust. Devon, UK, August 2015.
Eurasian beaver kit (Castor fiber) swimming at night, born in the wild on the River Otter as part of the River Otter Beaver Trial, Devon, England, UK, August 2015. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver kit (Castor fiber) swimming at night, born in the wild on the River Otter as part of the River Otter Beaver Trial, Devon, England, UK, August 2015.
Two Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kits feeding at night, born in the wild on the River Otter, part of a release project managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, England, UK, August 2015. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Two Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kits feeding at night, born in the wild on the River Otter, part of a release project managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, England, UK, August 2015.
Male Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) gnawing the bark off a twig, Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Project, Devon, England, UK, June. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Male Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) gnawing the bark off a twig, Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Project, Devon, England, UK, June.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kit feeding on Willow (Salix) before swimming off, born in the wild on the River Otter as part of the River Otter Beaver Trial, Devon, England, UK, July 2015. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kit feeding on Willow (Salix) before swimming off, born in the wild on the River Otter as part of the River Otter Beaver Trial, Devon, England, UK, July 2015.
Young Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kit swimming. Wild kit born in the River Otter, during Devon Beaver Trial, managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust. Devon, UK, August 2015. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Young Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kit swimming. Wild kit born in the River Otter, during Devon Beaver Trial, managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust. Devon, UK, August 2015.
Young Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kit sniffing at overhanging vegetation at night. Wild kit born in the River Otter, during Devon Beaver Trial, managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust. Devon, UK, Augus... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Young Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) kit sniffing at overhanging vegetation at night. Wild kit born in the River Otter, during Devon Beaver Trial, managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust. Devon, UK, Augus...
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) feeding on grass amongst Meadow buttercups (Ranunculus acris) near a pond in a large enclosure, Devon, England, UK, June. Captive. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) feeding on grass amongst Meadow buttercups (Ranunculus acris) near a pond in a large enclosure, Devon, England, UK, June. Captive.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) swimming in a pond in a large enclosure, Devon, England, UK, June. Captive. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) swimming in a pond in a large enclosure, Devon, England, UK, June. Captive.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) swimming in a pond in a large enclosure, Devon, England, UK, June. Captive. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) swimming in a pond in a large enclosure, Devon, England, UK, June. Captive.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) grazing amongst Meadow buttercups (Ranunculus acer), Devon, England, UK, June - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) grazing amongst Meadow buttercups (Ranunculus acer), Devon, England, UK, June
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) holding a branch and rolling it with its front feet and gnawing off the bark at a feeding station in the margins of a pond, in enclosure at night, Devon Beaver Project,... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) holding a branch and rolling it with its front feet and gnawing off the bark at a feeding station in the margins of a pond, in enclosure at night, Devon Beaver Project,...
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) male using its teeth to strip bark from a Willow tree (Salix sp.) in woodland enclosure at night, Devon Beaver Project, run by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, April. Ta... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) male using its teeth to strip bark from a Willow tree (Salix sp.) in woodland enclosure at night, Devon Beaver Project, run by Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon, UK, April. Ta...
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) at night, emerging from a pond onto its lodge, Devon Wildlife TrustÕs Devon Beaver Project enclosure, Devon, England, UK, March. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) at night, emerging from a pond onto its lodge, Devon Wildlife TrustÕs Devon Beaver Project enclosure, Devon, England, UK, March.
Male Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) at night, walking and grazing, Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Project, Devon, UK, April. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Male Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) at night, walking and grazing, Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Project, Devon, UK, April.
Eurasian beaver kit (Castor fiber) feeding at night, born in the wild on the River Otter as part of the River Otter Beaver Trial, Devon, England, UK, August 2015. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver kit (Castor fiber) feeding at night, born in the wild on the River Otter as part of the River Otter Beaver Trial, Devon, England, UK, August 2015.
Juvenile Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) at night, grooming itself on the shore, Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Project, Devon, UK, April. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Juvenile Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) at night, grooming itself on the shore, Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Project, Devon, UK, April.
Male Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) at night, climbing onto a dam before swimming off, Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Project, Devon, UK, April. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Male Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) at night, climbing onto a dam before swimming off, Devon Wildlife Trust's Devon Beaver Project, Devon, UK, April.
Mark Elliott, project manager of the Beaver project, and Julia Coats of the Animal and Plant Health agency releasing Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) back to the River Otter. Part of escaped population... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Mark Elliott, project manager of the Beaver project, and Julia Coats of the Animal and Plant Health agency releasing Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) back to the River Otter. Part of escaped population...
Release of Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) back to the River Otter.  Part of escaped population re-released to the wild following veterinary check ups. Taken on the second day of Beaver releases after... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Release of Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) back to the River Otter. Part of escaped population re-released to the wild following veterinary check ups. Taken on the second day of Beaver releases after...
Julia Coats of the Animal and Plant Health Agency releasing Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) back into River Otter. Part of escaped population re-released to the wild following veterinary check ups. Tak... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Julia Coats of the Animal and Plant Health Agency releasing Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) back into River Otter. Part of escaped population re-released to the wild following veterinary check ups. Tak...
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) entering the River Otter after release. Part of escaped population re-released to the wild following veterinary check ups. Taken on the second day of Beaver releases aft... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) entering the River Otter after release. Part of escaped population re-released to the wild following veterinary check ups. Taken on the second day of Beaver releases aft...
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) adult grazing grass among Buttercups (Ranunculus acris) on the margin of a marshland pond within a large enclosure after sunset, Devon, UK, June. - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) adult grazing grass among Buttercups (Ranunculus acris) on the margin of a marshland pond within a large enclosure after sunset, Devon, UK, June.
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) on the banks of the River Otter after release. Part of escaped population re-released to the wild following veterinary check ups. Taken on the second day of Beaver relea... - Nick Upton
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Nick Upton / Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) on the banks of the River Otter after release. Part of escaped population re-released to the wild following veterinary check ups. Taken on the second day of Beaver relea...
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