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Footage of the first kit born on Exmoor for 400 years. Welcome to the world, baby beaver!

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The youngster, known as a kit, was caught on film at the conservation charity’s Holnicote Estate in Somerset, where beavers were introduced to an enclosure in January 2020.

Images from a static camera revealing the six-week-old kit swimming with its mother back to the family lodge while she stops to nibble a branch.

Jack Siviter, one of the rangers on the Holnicote estate, said: “We first had an inkling that our pair of beavers had mated successfully when the male started being a lot more active building and dragging wood and vegetation around the site in late spring.

“The female also changed her usual habits, and stayed out of sight, leaving the male to work alone.

“It was then several weeks until we spotted her again, and this is when our suspicions were confirmed that she had given birth, due to having very visible teats.”

He added: “We are particularly pleased for our female, nicknamed Grylls due to her survival instincts, as she didn’t have the easiest start to life, being orphaned at an early age.

“As a first-time mum she seems to be thriving and it’s great to see her with her new kit.”

The once-native semi-aquatic mammals are making a return to Britain after being hunted to extinction for their fur, glands and meat in the 16th century.

Beavers are seen as nature engineers who restore wetland habitats through dam-building and felling trees, slowing, storing and filtering water in the landscape, which attracts other wildlife and reduces flooding downstream.

The trust said the 6.7 acre enclosure the beavers have been released in has been transformed from unmanaged woodland to a more open wetland attracting more wildlife, in just 18 months.

Ben Eardley, project manager for the National Trust at Holnicote, said: “The beavers are doing a lot of what we want to see in terms of conservation and land management.

“They are letting the light and the water into the site, helping natural processes and providing opportunities for a host of other wildlife.”

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