Pictured: The first beavers born in Essex since the Middle Ages when they were in danger of extinction
- For the first time since the Middle Ages, two beavers were born in Essex
- The Woody and Willow couple were involved in a flood risk reduction project
- The names of their two baby beavers are selected by public vote
Two beavers were born in Essex for the first time since the Middle Ages, conservationists said.
Mammals were threatened with extinction in Britain at the beginning of the 16th century because of their meat, fur and scent glands, but have since been reintroduced.
As part of a project to reduce flood risk, two Eurasian beavers were brought to the Spains Hall Estate in Finchingfield last year.
They were the first to be brought to Essex in 400 years, and now they have had two babies – called kits.
It is the first time since the Middle Ages that beavers were born in Essex. The Eurasian beavers Woody and Willow had two baby beavers that have not yet been named
River basin coordinator Darren Tansley at Essex Wildlife Trust said: “We have always hoped that the presence of beavers will benefit local wildlife, but the changes we have made in the past 18 months have exceeded our expectations.
& # 39; DNA samples from the main beaver pond recorded everything from deer to tiny pygmy shrews, all to create the perfect environment for their young kits, the first beavers born in Essex since the Middle Ages.
"We are excited about the addition of two more ecosystem engineers in the district."
Woody and Willow were the first beavers in 400 years to be brought to Essex as part of a flood risk reduction project
The adult beavers Woody and Willow have been building dams as part of a partnership project with the environmental agency and other companies since their arrival.
Archie Ruggles-Brise, estate manager at Spains Hall, described the news of the Bibler babies as "fantastic".
"If they resemble their parents, the two kits will become phenomenal dam builders, and we'll closely watch them expand the wetland area, provide even more protection against flooding and drought, and host many other wildlife," he said.
There is a public vote to select names for the beaver babies.
See: Spains Hall Estate