We're bringing beavers back to Cheshire after 400 years, but we need your help!
Hatchmere’s precious wetlands are dying, but beavers can help save these special habitats!
As part of a five-year 'nature-led' project, a pair of beavers were released into a 10 acre enclosure in November 2020, to save and restore the wetland ecosystem at Hatchmere Nature Reserve.
Our amazing supporters have raised just over half of the £85,000 required, however £42,000 is still needed.
So what next?
Thanks for the incredible support we've had so far, we were able to build a beaver proof fence around the 10-acre enclosure and our pair of beavers were released safely into Hatchmere Nature Reserve. But the work doesn’t stop there – there’s a big job still to do. If you’d like to be part of this exciting project to bring beavers back to Cheshire, we need your help.
This is a five-year project which hopes to see:
- Hatchmere’s precious wetlands restored by beavers.
- We need to look after the beavers and carefully monitor the effects that they have on Hatch Mere lake and the surrounding habitats. We will be working with local universities and beaver experts to help us with this work.
- There will be regular checks on the enclosure and the health of the beavers.
- We’ll be checking the quality of the water and monitoring other wildlife at Hatchmere including breeding birds, bats, aquatic invertebrates and the rare plants and mosses that make this site so special.
- We will also be running regular events so that we can share the work that beavers are doing on site.
What’s the cost?
It will cost us £17,000 each year (that’s around £300 each week) to look after the beavers and to monitor the effects they’re having on Hatchmere’s wetlands. The total cost of the five-year trial is £85,000.
We have every hope that this exciting five-year project will pave the way for further beaver reintroductions in Cheshire and across the UK!
Any donation, no matter how big or small, will go a long way.
What your donations could do
We’re really excited to be bringing beavers back to Cheshire after being absent from our waterways for so long. Beavers are a natural and sustainable solution to managing habitats. We spend a lot of time and managing sites for nature, which beavers do better and cheaper. The beavers will be a huge benefit to Delamere.Hatchmere Living Landscape Officer
The beavers will be a huge benefit to Delamere. Please join us on this exciting journey to bring beavers back to Cheshire for good.
Make a donation today and we’ll bring you regular updates on the Hatchmere beavers as they settle into their new home and. hopefully, rear their first beaver kits here next year.
Thank you so much for caring about your local natural landscapes and wildlife as much as we do.
Hatchmere Living Landscape Officer
Your donation will help bring beavers back to Cheshire
Find out more
How much have we raised so far?
In September 2020, we reached our first target of £30,000 which allowed us to start work on the beaver-proof fence around the enclosure at Hatchmere Nature Reserve.
Now the beavers have arrived safely, there's still a big job to do. It will cost us £17,000 each year (that’s around £300 each week) to look after the beavers and to monitor the effects they’re having on Hatchmere’s wetlands.
Our supporters have raised just over half of the £85,000 required for the five-year trial, however £42,000 still needed to look after the beavers and monitor the effect they’re having on Hatchmere’s wetlands.
- Beavers are nature’s finest ‘wetland engineers’, driven by instinct and the relentless desire to create their ideal breeding grounds.
- Beaver dams would raise water levels across the meadows downstream, turning them into a giant water filter. That means purer water for Hatch Mere, which in turn flows out to the River Weaver, on its way to the Mersey and finally the sea.
- By removing trees and creating standing deadwood, the beavers allow more light to reach the woodland floor. This, along with their digging activities, creates ideal conditions for insects to thrive, in turn attracting a variety of native mammals and birds.
- The pools help settle river-borne sediment, which keeps the downstream water cleaner…creating ideal conditions for fish to spawn.
- Cleaner water will then flow out into the neighbouring SSSI – so Hatch Mere and its surrounding peat bog habitats can at last begin to recover.
Why Hatchmere Nature Reserve?
- Man-made problems are destroying rare habitats at Hatchmere Nature Reserve, and killing aquatic life in the wetlands and in Hatch Mere lake.
- Peat bogs are delicate habitats which need nutrient-poor water. But the brook flowing into the site has become far too rich and nutrient-packed, so the peat bog plants and animals are losing their fight for survival.
- Invasive species like nettles and bramble are thriving on the rich water supply – reducing sunlight and accelerating the loss of peat bog life.
Can I see the beavers if I visit Hatchmere Nature Reserve?
The beaver enclosure is located around Hatchmere Brook on the edge of the reserve, which inflows into Hatch Mere. Although the enclosure is not open to the public, part of it can be viewed from the boardwalk at Hatchmere Nature Reserve. The 870 metre beaver-proof fence around the enclosure was made possible by generous donations to our beaver appeal. The enclosure is 10 acres - that's about the size of 8 and a half football pitches!