Ottery shoppers help Devon’s beavers

Thursday 6th July 2017

Nora the beaver receives cheque from Ros Browne of RobertsNora the beaver receives cheque from Ros Browne of Roberts

East Devon shoppers have been doing their bit for the River Otter beavers through a local store’s fundraising scheme.

Staff at Roberts, Ottery St Mary’s venerable hardware and homeware shop, set up a ‘book and DVD’ stall in the store, with each item available for a £1 donation.

And last month they reached the milestone of £1000 raised for the River Otter Beaver Trial, the Devon Wildlife Trust-led project that is monitoring the beaver population and its effects for the next five years.

Nora, Devon Wildlife Trust’s beaver mascot, visited the shop in Ottery to accept the cheque and meet Roberts’ owner Ros Browne and her colleague Anna Feeney, who had the idea to set up the fundraising stall.

Ros said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed beavering away selling second hand books and DVDs for Devon Wildlife Trust. We and our customers are very proud of what we consider to be the ‘Ottery’ beavers.”

The funds raised help Devon Wildlife Trust to continue monitoring the beavers’ effects on local wildlife and landscapes and to inform local communities about sharing their river with the beavers. The Trust also introduced two more beavers on a tributary of the River Otter in 2016, to increase the genetic diversity of the beaver population.

DWT’s Beaver Project Lead Mark Elliott commented: “We’ve seen lots of enthusiasm for the beavers from local people. Last summer, large groups gathered to watch the mother and her five young kits swimming in the early evenings near Otterton. And it’s great that the level of support has continued, with Ottery shoppers raising a fantastic amount to help England’s first beaver re-introduction project.”

Ros Browne added: “Hopefully our customers will continue to support us and be as generous as they have over the last couple of years - our thanks to everybody who has contributed.”