Enfield: First baby beaver born in London in 400 years seen helping build damn in new video

The baby beaver was caught on camera in Enfield, north London. Credit: Colin Pressland.
The baby beaver was caught on camera in Enfield, north London. Credit: Colin Pressland.

The first baby beaver born in London for 400 years has been caught on camera in Enfield.

The council launched the first beaver reintroduction programme in the capital in 2022, as part of a wider rewilding and natural flood management project.

The scheme was launched in partnership with Capel Manor College, with advice from the Beaver Trust.

The semi-aquatic rodents were hunted to extinction in England in the 16th century, though have been reintroduced in areas across the country in recent years.

In a new video, the baby beaver, or ‘kit’, can be seen swimming and helping its parents build their dam.

Its sex is as yet unknown, with a health check due to be carried out by Capel Manor College alongside an exotic animal vet.

Enfield Council’s cabinet member for environment, Cllr Rick Jewell, said: “This truly is wonderful news. The adult beavers are quite young so we weren’t sure that they would breed successfully in such a short space of time. You can already see the positive impact the beavers are having through their natural landscaping of the area.

“The beavers’ hard work creating a natural wetland ecosystem will contribute to excellent flood defences, protecting the local area and hundreds of homes from flooding downstream to the southeast of the borough, while encouraging local biodiversity to thrive. They really are remarkable animals.

“This project contributes to our rewilding activities and is having an extremely positive impact on our borough, supporting our climate action objectives and Blue and Green Strategy.”

Capel Manor College’s animal collections manager, Meg Wilson, added: “We are thrilled for this new arrival. We have seen the developments the beavers are making and the improvements they have made to the wetland area. We are now focusing our efforts on collecting data, which we hope will further evidence the positive effects the beavers are having on the environment.

“As Capel Manor College’s conservation efforts grow, this continues to enable us to give our students first-hand experience of conservation and research.”

Beyond Enfield, there are also plans to reintroduce beavers into a site in Ealing later this year, in a bid to boost biodiversity and reduce the impacts of floods.