Beavers To Be The UK’s Next Line Of Flood Defence!

Flooding here parts of the country were hit by flash floods this summer – and this could well become something of the norm in the near future.

Research recently carried out on behalf of the Committee on Climate Change indicated that the number of residential properties exposed to flooding on a more frequent basis will rise significantly, climbing from 860,000 today to reach 1.2 million by the 2080s (a rise of 40 per cent). So while some parts of the country may feel safe from floods right now, this might not be the case in the future.

As such, finding innovative flood protection solutions is imperative and must be done now in order to protect our communities later down the line. And it seems, according to a Guardian report, that steps have already been taken in this regard – with a family of friendly beavers being brought in to one village in the Forest of Dean to help protect it from flood waters.

Apparently, the hope is that beavers will work quickly to build their own ponds, canals and dams to help slow the flow of the stream near the village of Lydbrook. This could then possibly hold back 6,000 cubic metres of water and prevent devastating floods hitting the village… which happened to it back in 2012.

If beavers are introduced, it would be the first such scheme to be rolled out on government land, with local people voicing their support for the idea and saying it’ll not just protect the village but also help tourism and the local wildlife into the bargain.

Green councillor Sid Phelps, who lives just outside Lydbrook, was quoted by the news source as saying: “This seems to be an innovative idea to deal with both climate change and the risk of in the UK looks set to become a more frequent occurrence as time goes on. Certainly,

increased flooding. There’s a little nervousness in the Forest of Dean because of the boar but the Forestry Commission did an excellent job of assuaging any fears.”

And beaver expert Derek Gow (who has worked on other reintroduction schemes in both England and Scotland) said beavers could potentially prevent serious flood events while also creating a “biodiversity jewel” in the Forest of Dean and open its canopy up to light.

He went on to say that Lydbrook would inspire other similar schemes throughout British river systems in the west, although it’s not likely they’d be a feature in the east where activity on arable landscapes can be damaging.

It certainly seems as though we’ll be hearing more and more stories about flooding and damage in the UK as time goes on – so you may well need help with structural repair and strengthening in the near future. If so, make sure you give us here at Freyssinet a call to see how we can help.