8 December 2017
Green Party deputy leader Amelia Womack has claimed a “green triumph” after the Environment Secretary Michael Gove confirmed that beavers will be introduced to the Forest of Dean.
The idea was championed by Green Party councillor Sid Phelps and has been warmly received by the local community . It is hoped that by introducing beavers, the council will enhance the biodiversity of the Forest of Dean and improve the area's resilience to floods. Their activities regulate water flow which minimises the risks of both flooding and drought.
“This is wonderful news and I am proud to claim this as a Green triumph. Sid made the introduction of beavers to the Forest of Dean a major part of his campaign for election and it is so exciting to see his efforts bearing fruit so soon after he became a councillor. This just shows the difference a Green councillor can make.
“In the last few weeks I’ve been travelling the country, visiting innovative projects that are proving flood management does not need to be all about building concrete walls - it could and should be about enhancing, fortifying, and strengthening the green spaces around us. The lessons I have learned are being so clearly put into practice. Well done Sid and well done everyone involved in this project."
In the last few months Amelia Womack has visited Devon, Stroud, and Yorkshire as part of a series of visits to learn about modern alternatives to flood management. She saw the beaver reintroduction project in Devon and has invited Michael Gove to visit the project with her, hoping that he will take up the concept of “rewilding” as a way to protect the environment.