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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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New app to improve street dog welfare

News Story 1
 A new free app will support vital work in clinics caring for stray dogs around the world, experts say. Created by the University of Edinburgh, the tool allows vets to track the wellbeing of dogs going through catch-neuter-return schemes, which are common in countries with large numbers of strays.

Vets say the welfare of individual dogs can be overlooked during the process of capture, transport or surgery. The app, piloted across Asia and Africa, helps staff to monitor welfare, spot signs of distress and develop strategies to improve care. It was launched at BSAVA Congress on Friday 6 April.  

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