Unfortunately, we don’t spot any, and neither does the car, so we drop in on Derek Gow, a nearby farmer who is also one of the UK’s foremost beaver breeders. On his land, Derek rears the rodents, which are imported from Germany, and sells them to conservation projects all over the UK. ‘Farmers are now discovering the benefit of having beavers on their land to help mitigate against flooding issues,’ he explains. ‘Thanks to their love of deep water they create complications and dams that help the land retain the water.’
In a large pen to the back of his farm, Derek introduces us to a large male beaver, who trots out of his lodge to greet us as we enter. Sleekly, the cocker spaniel-sized animal dives into the water hole he has dug nearby and effortlessly glides across the muddy surface, propelling himself with his large flat tail and observing us with beady black eyes.
After a few laps the beaver gets out and shakes the water off his brown fur, before retreating casually back into his home. Up close, this majestic creature is quite a sight to behold – and perhaps one that will become more commonplace as reintroduction projects get up and running across the country.
Words by John Silcox. Photographs by Alexander Rhind.
Enquire about the Universal Traffic Recorder at your nearest Audi Centre