Family of Essex beavers caught on camera in some of its loveliest moments

PUBLISHED: 16:42 05 August 2020

A  kit (baby beaver) chomping away. Photo: Russell Savory.

A kit (baby beaver) chomping away. Photo: Russell Savory.

Russell Savory

The family of beavers that welcomed two babies earlier this year has had some of its loveliest moments caught on video.

One of the babies, known as kits, can be seen munching on some branches, in what photographer Russell Savory called “an awesome and emotional experience” at dawn.

In a rare moment of silence, one of the adult beavers was caught on video doing some proper self-care. The ‘morning wash and brush’, as described by Mr Savory, has prompted a Twitter user to say she “might just burst with joy”.

Parent beavers Woody and Wilow were brought to Spains Hall Estate in Finchingfield last year, and this year’s extra paws are the first in Essex in 400 years.

The kits have proven to be more active than their parents – but also clumsier. Their human carers have watched them trying to pull leaves off trees and not quite managing it.

Archie Ruggles-Brise, Spains Hall estate manager, said: “The kits are learning all the bits they can and watching their parents building dams. Their concentration spans are quite short so it’s quite amusing to watch them.

“They are growing, they are spending a lot of time in the enclosure, they are always out and about. We see them a lot in the mornings and in the evenings with their parents, they are getting bold and they are getting up and down the river.”

He added: “They are venturing further and further all the time. There is water in the woodland so it gives them loads of space to explore. I think they are getting on their parents’ nerves.”

The beavers are part of a natural flood and drought protection scheme and are actively helping reduce flooding in their village.

Mr Ruggles-Brise said: “Beavers build dams in woodland to create ponds. They trap rainwater. That stops big floods coming through.

“In times of drought we see they are not only creating a habitat; they are also releasing water downstream and it means the rivers don’t dry out as quickly.”

The Eurasian beavers are native to Europe, but were hunted to extinction in the UK more than four centuries ago.


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