National Trust calls on football fans to name new beaver kits, following England’s historic victory

Press release
New beavers at Holnicote
Published : 02 Aug 2022

Fans of the England Lionesses have the chance to name two new beaver kits after their footballing heroes, following Sunday’s victory in the Euros.

The National Trust has announced that a beaver family on Exmoor had welcomed two new arrivals, with the second only just recently confirmed thanks to new video footage, and that it was launching a Twitter competition to find names for the young, known as kits.

Last year, the Trust asked its social media followers to name the first beaver kit born on Exmoor for 400 years, with ‘Rashford’ chosen after the men reached the final of the Euros.
 
The two new kits are siblings for Rashford, with parents Grylls and Yogi.
Footage from a static camera captured the new kits in their enclosure on the Holnicote Estate, where beavers were first released by the Trust in 2020.
 
Ben Eardley, Project Manager at Holnicote, said the England women’s team had inspired a nation and a new generation of football fans: “Last year we were overwhelmed by the interest in our first beaver kit, with thousands of people helping us choose a name. After Sunday’s historic victory, we’re anticipating even more excitement this time, and hopefully, some Lioness-inspired name suggestions.”

Over the past two years, the beavers have created a complex of dams that have helped slow the flow of water through the catchment, creating ponds and new channels to hold more water in the landscape.  
 
A wide range of wildlife is now enjoying this new habitat, including fish, amphibians, reptiles such as grass snakes, bats, insects and birds such as sparrowhawk, grey wagtail, moorhen and kingfisher. Otters are also regular visitors to the site.

By stripping bark from non-native conifers, the beavers also help let more light into the woodland and encourage new trees to grow. 

Ben continued: “The beavers have now created three additional ponds within the three hectare enclosure – and despite the lack of rain and drought conditions on the horizon, it is still a vibrant waterscape with a diverse range of wetland wildlife that have now made their home here.

“By developing this type of resilience to our warming climates, we can help wildlife weather the uncertainty of rising temperatures and conditions that we are likely to experience due climate change. Holding water in the landscapes not only benefits wildlife, but ensures there is more water for the surrounding trees and fields. These beaver engineered wetlands have the potential to help raise local groundwater levels and develop a more resilient river catchment for people and wildlife.” 

Name suggestions can be made via the National Trust’s social media from today, visit https://twitter.com/nationaltrust before the team at Holnicote make their final choices.