X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Blogs Coffee House

Could beavers really solve our flooding crisis?

11 February 2014

5:35 PM

11 February 2014

5:35 PM

All this talk about dredging is well and good; but could the humble beaver in fact be the solution to the nation’s floods? Well, as far as the Mammal Society are concerned, yes.

The animal has been extinct in the UK since the sixteenth century, but in recent years people have been pushing for its reintroduction. There are already two separate wild beaver colonies in Scotland, which have elicited a mixture of good and bad reactions from locals. But could they really help with the flooding?

[Alt-Text]


The Mammal Society’s argument is that beavers – ‘the master river engineer’ – create ‘impoundments’ with their damming, which help to keep water upland by holding it back in ponds and small streams. As well as slowing down the flow of water into larger rivers, this also forces the ground to retain more water, creating more wetlands.

So yes, beavers might help to slow water flow – but it’s hard to see that they would have prevented the floods entirely. And their presence isn’t always beneficial when it comes to flood prevention, either. Beavers were reintroduced to Estonia in the ‘50s; but over a thousand were culled in 2006 when they caused flooding in forests, where excess water had gathered as a result of their damming. They were also blamed for blocking drainage canals – something Somerset could do without.

Perhaps reintroducing the beaver isn’t the simple solution that the Mammal Society make it out to be. And, even if it could help in the long term, I suspect that flood victims want money spent on removing excess water and fixing damage, rather than on imported Norwegian beavers.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close