Responding to the launch of a consultation into the reintroduction of beavers, including giving the animal legal protection, the NFU’s environment forum chairman Richard Bramley said: “British farmers and growers are experts at making the most of their natural environment to produce climate-friendly food.
“It is positive that any reintroduction will be strictly licensed by Natural England and it is important any approved licensing includes a long-term management plan, developed with local farmers and backed with adequate funding. Any impact on a farmer’s ability to produce food needs to be included as part of a full impact assessment carried out before any licence is issued.
“We must remember that beaver reintroductions can have negative impacts; potentially undermining riverbanks, damaging trees, impeding farmland drainage and causing low-lying fields to flood. Where there is a financial impact on a farm business, adequate compensation must be made and an exit strategy must be in place should major issues occur.
“We are committed to working with Natural England and interested parties to deliver the best outcomes.”