According to Sadiq Khan, if Labour is in power, beavers should be set free throughout the nation.
The mayor of London expressed disappointment over recent remarks made by the environment secretary, Thérèse Coffey. She stated that her department’s focus was not on legalizing the release of beavers, as they had other matters to address.
Currently, it is only permissible to release beavers into designated enclosures, not their natural habitats. However, there are some beavers living freely in certain regions of the UK, such as Devon, and a significant population in Scotland due to unlawful releases.
It is uncertain if a potential Labour administration would permit the release of beavers into their natural habitat. Reports suggest that the Defra shadow department is currently drafting their plan for environmental conservation.
In the past, beavers were abundant in the UK, but they were killed for their fur and oil, leading to their extinction 400 years ago. These creatures build dams that create wetlands, which are crucial for maintaining a diverse ecosystem. A study showed that wild beavers have helped with issues such as flooding, pollution, and fish populations. Wildlife advocates often refer to beavers as “nature’s gardeners.”
The mayor expressed disappointment with Thérèse Coffey’s recent comments regarding her lack of focus on rewilding. They also expressed disappointment about the lack of efforts to reintroduce beavers, as reported by the Guardian.
“They know the evidence about beavers, helping protect ecosystems, and one of the points I’m saying to the Labour team nationally, is not only is this the right thing to do for our environment, for our communities, it is a vote-winner – a no-brainer.”
In the beginning of this month, Khan introduced two young beavers to the Paradise Fields nature reserve located in Ealing, west London. Despite being confined to an enclosure, he anticipates that their presence will enhance the variety of living things in the area and foster a stronger connection between community members and the natural environment.
Khan described his encounter with the beavers, saying that the mother was released from the cage and it was a bit frightening for him. However, once she was out, she was a delight to watch. The two kits also provided entertainment, swimming and playing in the water. One of the kits even seemed to be posing and Khan playfully named her Taylor Swift.
I dare you to resist smiling when you watch these beavers happily swimming in the beautiful park in Ealing. I hope others can also appreciate observing wildlife and find joy in it.
Khan is passionate about nature and rewilding. He has introduced a multi-million pound initiative to enhance London’s green areas for wildlife and create new ones. He believes that this not only benefits the city’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions, but also promotes social justice by bringing nature closer to communities.
Khan is of the opinion that implementing effective rewilding strategies would be beneficial for the Labour party in terms of gaining votes. He expressed, “It’s thrilling because we can appeal to individuals by highlighting our party’s efforts to rewild and increase greenery. It provides another incentive to vote for us in the upcoming general election.”