CBP Case Study

After many years of bad flooding in the village of Ladock, local farmer Chris Jones decided to introduce beavers to his farm in an attempt to slow down the flow of water. Since being introduced in 2017, a pair of beavers have built 8 dams and transformed a simple first order stream into a complex mosaic of ponds, wetlands, and new streams covering the entire floodplain. 8 new bird species have been recorded and 4 new mammals. In total, 11 bat species and 11 dragonfly species have been recorded. The site has hosted Spring-, Autumn- and Winter- watch a total of three times, as well as many other TV productions and news broadcasts. It has hosted over 50 school visits.

It has been surveyed by scientists from Exeter, Plymouth, Imperial College London, Cambridge, and Bristol universities, and several papers have been published. It has been surveyed by volunteers from Cornwall Wildlife Trust, British Dragonfly Society, Bat Conservation Trust, Cornwall Mammal Group, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and other organisations. Frogs and toads are abundant in and around the beaver wetland. Trout have doubled in size in the lower ponds since beaver occupation, and are more than 8 times bigger in the lodge pond. New bird species recorded include: Water rail, Willow tit, Shoveler duck, Cormorant, Gadwall, Canada goose, Merlin, Reed warbler, Firecrest, and Green sandpiper. Roughly 4,000 – 5,000 people have visited the site, including roughly 50 landowners.

In summer 2022 a walkway was constructed by 32 volunteers to enable disabled access. The farm has hosted over 100 school visits for over 16 years. The beavers are a tremendous draw for school visits, and school children can get involved in practical work by imitating beavers in their dam making.

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