Beavers return to Poole Farm in Plymouth’s Green Minds project

A pair of Eurasian beavers have settled into the 6-hectare rewilding enclosure at Poole Farm. 

The male and female are unrelated orphans from the Tay catchment in Scotland. After spending time at the creche in Cornwall Seal Sanctuary, they were released into Poole Farm in November and have already begun transforming the landscape. 

The Green Minds project, a Plymouth Council initiative, aims to explore the health benefits of spending time in nature, engage communities, and study the beavers’ impact on reducing flooding downstream and habitat creation in Bircham Valley aligning with Plymouth Council objectives of flood reduction and climate resilience.

This is not the first time there have been beavers at Poole Farm. Storm damage to the enclosure meant it was no longer secure; one beaver escaped and was unfortunately hit by a car. The remaining beaver was then rehomed.

Since then, the enclosure has been strengthened and the Council has invested in more robust storm gates on the watercourse entrance and exits. After consultations and site visits, the green light was given to have beavers at Poole Farm again. 

The pair of beavers exploring Poole Farm © Chris Parkes

Dr Roisin Campbell-Palmer, Head of Restoration at Beaver Trust, said: “This urban beaver project offers an important space for community engagement. Beaver wetlands have been shown to reduce stress, elevate moods and increase a feeling of connection to wildlife and nature which is becoming increasingly important to more and more people.”

Two very similar rivers are going to be monitored as part of the project – the Bircham, where the beavers are, and the Seaton – to compare and contrast any differences over time. 

“We look forward to supporting this Green Minds project as they monitor the beavers and their impact on flash flooding and roll out education initiatives for the city and surrounding area,” says Roisin.

Matt Holden, Devon Beaver Project Lead at the Devon Wildlife Trust, said: “This is an exciting development for Plymouth and we look forward to observing the increase in wildlife that the presence of beavers should bring across the site.” 

The beavers are kept secure inside the enclosure with no public access, but follow Poole Farm on Facebook to find out more about future beaver/urban wilding tours.


For more information, visit or follow the Natural Infrastructure team on Facebook and Twitter

You can find out more about Poole Farm and the surrounding Derriford Community Park project on their website.

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