The Mayor of London has released five beavers at Paradise Fields in Ealing, bringing beavers back to West London for the first time in 400 years.
Sadiq Khan released the Eurasian beavers in a 10-hectare site at Paradise Fields, between Perivale and Greenford, after Citizen Zoo, alongside Ealing Wildlife Group, Ealing Council, the Beaver Trust, and Friends of Horsenden Hill transformed the area into a flourishing wetland.
The site, one of the 22 rewilding initiatives selected for grants from The Mayor of London’s Rewild London Fund, will help combat the impact of the climate crisis and create a biodiverse ecosystem, helping plants and animals to thrive.
“I’m proud that we are turning London into a wildlife haven, as well as making the city more resilient to the effects of climate change, as we work to clean up our city, re-establish lost species and reconnect people and nature.”
“Bringing nature back to the communities where we live and work is a core purpose of our Right Now Climate Fund,” said Zak Watts, Director of Europe Sustainability, Amazon. “Reintroducing a family of beavers to the capital will not only help Londoners discover and reconnect with nature, but also help improve our city’s biodiversity challenge.”
Research from The Beaver Trust suggests that ponds and water pools created from beaver dams can have substantial benefits for local water quality. The project participants will study the animals, and their effect on water and flood levels.
The project will examine how people in urban areas can co-exist with beavers. The public will be welcomed to observe these mammals in action in one month’s time, once the beaver family have settled in.
“I am delighted to welcome back beavers to West London for the first time in 400 years, with the support of my Rewild London Fund," said Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London. "We are facing climate and ecological emergencies worldwide, but we have the power to make a difference, and I am committed to ensuring that London is at the forefront of reversing the trends of declining biodiversity and the destruction of nature. I’m proud that we are turning London into a wildlife haven, as well as making the city more resilient to the effects of climate change, as we work to clean up our city, re-establish lost species and reconnect people and nature, building a greener, fairer city for all Londoners. I encourage groups to apply to the fund now.”
“The reintroduction of this keystone species, absent in Ealing for centuries, really is going to help make London one step wilder,” said David Mooney, CEO at London Wildlife Trust. “In the face of a climate and ecological emergency it is partnerships like this one that will give hope for nature’s recovery. At the same it will help us all recover our lost connection with the natural world.”
Actor and WWF Ambassador Miranda Richardson said "Who knew this was happening in West London? I am thrilled to have had a close encounter with beavers today - nature's extraordinary environmental engineers - in a setting so close to my home in central London. And I am excited to learn more about this project, which furthers our understanding of how we can live together with nature."
By March 2024, The Mayor’s Rewild London Funding, in partnership the London Wildlife Trust and with a £750,000 commitment from Amazon’s Right Now Climate Fund, is expected to restore 420 hectares of habitat across 41 projects in the capital, bringing nature back into the city for all to enjoy. Projects include reintroducing water voles in the Hogsmill River in Kingston, improving habitats for reptiles in Barking and Dagenham and restoring ancient woodlands in Haringey.
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