At the last full meeting of Oldham Council (14 July 2021), Crompton Liberal Democrat Councillor Louie Hamblett posed an interesting question about enrolling an unusual ally to aid the Peak District National Park Authority in its fight against climate change.
Councillor Hamblett asked the Council’s representative on the authority, Councillor Colin McLaren, if the authority was considering reintroducing beavers into the Peak District.
The question came hot-on-the-heels of news that a baby beaver has been born on Exmoor for the first time in 400 years after the reintroduction of the species there.
Martin Varley from the Cheshire’s Wildlife Trust described the new-born as a “superhero who can create carbon-capturing landscapes and reduce the impact of floods, droughts and wildfires, and looks really cute into the bargain”.
Councillor Hamblett explained why he asked his question: “Beavers are a force-multiplier for good in the fight against climate change. Plans are now also underway to reintroduce beavers in Cheshire, Cumbria, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire, so why not on our doorstep in the Peak District National Park?”.
In his response, Councillor McLaren explained that although the authority’s Climate Change Member Task Group was not considering reintroducing beavers, other third parties had contacted the authority about doing so.
Councillor Hamblett concluded: “Although I am disappointed that the authority will not be reintroducing beavers, it is great to hear that other people in the Peak District hope to do so. I will be watching out for future developments with interest; minding my own ‘dam business’, so to speak.”