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Blackdown Hills Transition Group

Could Beavers save Britain from flooding?

The notion of ‘Re-Wilding’ can raise strong opinions on both sides of the debate. Locally this currently focuses on the Beaver. There is however national interest (the information below is from the Guardian newspaper) in their potential to reduce ‘downstream’ flooding.
The experimental site in Devon is vivid proof of how beavers create a wildlife paradise, re-engineering small valleys with amphibian- and insect-friendly ponds. Scientific studies show that their dams remove pollutants from water – they are particularly effective at filtering out harmful phosphates – and reduce floodwater peaks. Enthusiasts proclaim these large herbivores could become 21st-century water engineers, protecting towns from flooding. But some farmers hate beavers because their dams can also flood productive land.
But it’s the beavers’ water works that have really struck those studying the Devon site. During heavy rain, the volume of water flow increases rapidly above the site, creating a dramatic spike in the graph. But when the floodwater is measured again below the site, there is a gentle curve. In other words, the beavers dramatically reduce the peak flow of floodwater on this stream.
So, it appears that Beavers are good for wildlife & they could reduce the flooding in river valleys after heavy rainfall. However, they can also flood farm land so would need to be managed. As home owners we don’t want to be flooded, but neither do we want to lose significant farm land. I wonder what next year will bring for this famous West Country resident?

- Tim Clewer, Blackdown Hills Transition Group

Have you a skill to share and a little time to spare?

How often have you tried to get something repaired only to be told ‘it would be cheaper to buy a new one’? The Blackdown Hills Transition Group is setting up a Repair Café and is  seeking  volunteers with skills in repairing toys, bicycles, clothing, computers, garden tools, small items of furniture and small electrical appliances.
In order to reduce otherwise perfectly good ‘stuff’ ending up in landfill they aim to run the café  every one to two months (on a Saturday morning) and rotating around the local parishes.
They are looking to build up a bank of skilled volunteers so that they only need to call upon people occasionally. For more information or to volunteer contact Trisha Comrie: Tel: 01823 602908 or email: rishacomrie@gmail.com. >Read more.
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