Beaver Enclosure FAQs


Beavers are a native species, hunted to extinction over 200 years ago. They are a keystone species restoring wetland and woodland habitats in ways which benefit a much wider array of plants and animals than traditional human management.

They help to improve water quality and wetlands, and store carbon, vital in combating climate change.

Trentham opens its gates to thousands of visitors per day, well placed to engage and promote beaver reintroduction into the wider landscape.

How? By enabling visitors to explore, play, exercise, have fun, and learn in the presence of this animal, you will understand and experience what it would be like to have Beavers back in Britain.

We carried out surveys with our members as a good way of gauging visitor support. We had a resounding 85% in support developing animal experiences with local wildlife and 80% responding that providing wildlife talks, experiences and tours would encourage visits to the Estate and Gardens. Feedback on site throughout the planning consultation process has been positive and the flexible approach to installation by a local contractor and our team have minimised disruption during the enclosure build.

Thanks to all our visitors for their support and understanding during what was quite challenging weather conditions for the installation.

Most of the enclosure boundary has been created using existing fences to minimise the impact of the project. We have had to add fencing & gates down the East side of the Gardens and lake to keep the beavers within the lake.

The Eastern Pleasure Garden fence needed to go near the pathway to avoid being damaged by high river levels. There will be some perennial planting in this area but screening using denser planting is not possible.

The lakeside fence is set back off the path as much as possible and will soon be screened by neighbouring plantings being established now.

Eurasian Beavers are being reintroduced to Trentham Estate as part of the estate’s ongoing habitat restoration. The fence is a licence requirement from Natural England and is needed to ensure the beavers do not escape the safety of the estate. The fence will also improve visitor safety along the lakeside pathways where the banks down to the river are very steep.

These gates will be closed at night to stop beavers accessing the open sided bridge. During evening events stewards will staff the gates to stop beavers accessing the bridge. The evergreen hedging will grow through the mesh and screen it from view.

The large vehicle gates will be opened by our team when the lakeside walks are busy to allow easier visitor access. These gates will be open for events, for example, Parkrun.

In the evening and on quieter days the smaller pedestrian gates will be the main visitor access route with the large gates remaining locked.

This sloping set of railings act as a fence to stop beavers accessing the weir cascade and river, whilst allowing the water to flow freely out of the lake.  It is set back to conserve the historic weir so when it is removed in the future it will leave no trace of having been here.

Alternative locations were heavily explored, however the current location is most sensible solution.

Its sloping so that wood debris cannot build up in extreme storms. It needs to withstand a 1 in100 year catastrophic weather event based on climate change forecasting, which is why it’s so big.

The galvanized steel will dull down. Experts have been consulted and guidance is to not paint it to camouflage. This will no doubt become a popular fishing perch for a range of birds including Little and Great White Egrets, Grey Herons and possibly even the resident Kingfishers.

These will be closed to public access when needed to carry out maintenance operations safely without visitors accessing; To manage livestock grazing adjacent to the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) Kings Wood.

The fencing and gates will soon mellow down and look less new. We are adding lots of new planting to the lakeside walk with 1000 new native trees and  shrubs  which will add all year round colour and improve the habitat.

We are custodians of Trentham, as such we will be closely managing the wellbeing of the woodlands and our trees. We can let Beavers coppice trees which will regrow. They will graze on some trees, but they will also help the estate manage the quality of the tree stock though our management approach. You will see some tree protection methods introduced to specific species. The beavers will in some locations be allowed to create standing dead wood as this is critically endangered wildlife habitat.

The New Otter and Kingfisher hide will provide shelter and interpretation about the wildlife that can be seen on the River Trent and adjacent wetland habitat.