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Beavers to return to the Forest of Dean
Beavers were driven to extinction in England 400 years ago.

Proposal granted full licence by Natural England

The government has backed plans to release beavers into the Forest of Dean.

The project will see four beavers - two adults and two kits - released into a 6.5-acre hectare secure enclosure. It is hoped the beavers may be able to improve biodiversity and build dams and ponds.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said: “The beaver has a special place in English heritage and the Forest of Dean proposal is a fantastic opportunity to help bring this iconic species back to the countryside 400 years after it was driven to extinction.”

Kevin Stannard, Forestry Commission deputy surveyor for the Forest of Dean, added: “We will continue our detailed planning including designing a robust fence to keep the beaver enclosed; securing healthy, disease-free beaver and collecting data from the monitoring of the water flow in the brook. We will continue to give updates as the project develops.”

Scientists believe the beavers may be able to hold back enough water to help with flood alleviation
by quickly constructing natural dam structures and creating new habitat.

The proposal has been granted full licence approval by Natural England, who will consider further applications for possible trial releases on a case by case basis, in line with new guidance.

Beavers were driven to extinction in England 400 years ago and were reintroduced in Devon in 2015 for a trial. The beavers will be released into the Forest of Dean in spring 2018.

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.