The Sussex Beaver Trial has the following goals :
- To establish a healthy, breeding population of Eurasian beavers in a lowland Sussex river catchment
- To demonstrate that beavers will have a positive impact on the ecological health of the river system and associated riparian land
- To demonstrate that the beavers and their impacts will, on balance, be regarded by the local community and stakeholders as positive
The Project Steering Group will ensure that the trial introductions will be conducted in an objective and scientific manner, following IUCN and Welfare guidelines, liaising closely with local communities, and monitoring the effects that the beavers have on their local environment.
All parties recognise that beaver populations may eventually require management to ensure interactions with infrastructure and livelihoods are acceptable to stakeholders. Preventative measures will be taken where needed, to minimise these impacts before invasive techniques, such as trapping and relocation are considered. This will become particularly relevant if beavers reach carrying capacity in their current enclosures.
The main objectives of the beaver trial are as follows:
- Provide evidence to assist the national understanding of beaver re-introductions
- Increase knowledge and awareness of beavers and their interactions in the landscape
- Identify wider public benefits associated with beaver activity in the landscape
- To identify and assess impacts of beavers on wildlife, infrastructure and local communities
- Develop management techniques for a free living beaver population
- Understand the ecology, and population dynamics of beavers in a lowland, busy landscape
- Assess the potential for beavers to be restored to the wider landscape