Beavers / Outdoor Recreation

The BBC had an article about beavers returning to England. I’m not familiar with English public land use and rights of way. But there appears to be a recreation area nearby. And there is advice from a local trust on how to view beavers. There are also other recreational activities available in the area including walking paths and horse riding.

As a lifelong nature lover, and more active conservationist in my youth notably protecting the only pair of Eagles in England, I’ll wade in an add there is a lot of “rewilding” projects in the last decade and across the UK: Rewilding projects and local groups | Rewilding Britain. The Devon beaver project seems to get the vast majority of the publicity for reasons I can only guess at.

Beavers also reintroduced nearby: Bringing beavers back to Sussex — Knepp Wildland. The same estate last year had nesting Storks for the first time in ~600 years. The UK has lost more animals over the last few hundred years than most countries apparently, so there is a drive to bring back all sorts including Lynx. Wild Boar are back, and as of of this July, Bison to a first location not far from here in Kent: Wilder Blean.

@mike “English public land use and rights of way” is complicated and a mystery to the majority of the local population. Anyway not easily summarised in a few minutes; but happy to expand if anyone is visiting and wants to know more.

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In the US, nature has more infrastructure and clearer bounds. I’m going to a place whose only purpose is recreation outdoors. There is a place to stay, a place to eat, a sporting goods store nearby, and traditional activities like hiking and fishing. The park has boundaries, maps, and tour guides.

What confused me about Devon was the landowners and residents are not clearly welcoming tourists. The local trust can invite people to see beavers. But if there is no place to stay and I’m walking through quiet neighborhoods to get there then recreation seems less tenable.

Take the 606 for example. While I might be ten feet from someone standing in their backyard, no American would feel self-conscious about using the trail especially after becoming an official city park.

Though there are examples in the US where you need some fortitude to reach points of interest.

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The beavers are in an enclosed very small space; England is a crowded space and most land is privately owned. The project and others are campaigns/experiments of controlled reintroduction, involving enthusiastic landowners and conservationists. The government is currently considering whether beavers should be allowed to go wild.

First the obvious; England is a crowded space compared with US, Australia, Spain and so on.

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