Eurasian beavers are set to enjoy legal protection in England, following an announcement from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).
The new legislation will make it illegal to deliberately capture, kill, disturb or injure beavers, as well as damaging their breeding sites or territories.
The Eurasian beaver is a native species throughout Britain and is listed on the Red List and is a European Protected Species.
This step is key to ensuring the successful reintroduction of Eurasian beavers into territories across Britain. Beavers are vital in helping improve the natural function of wetlands and reducing the effects of water flow during flooding. They also help land retain fresh water during heatwaves.
The new legislation has been brought forward by Defra following concerns from the Beaver Trust and other organisations, who argued that further delay would have a detrimental impact on the UK's climate resilience, biodiversity and land health.
The legislation will be effective from 1 October 2022.
Top image credit: Getty Images
Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.