Course: Beaver Conservation and Rewilding Experience - Residential Course

The Species Recovery Trust

Lifton, Devon
23rd - 24th June 2022

Cost: £160

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

A 2 day course giving participants a better understanding of beaver behaviour, ecology and conservation plus the skills to carry out beaver surveys. The course will also cover reintroductions, and the impact that beavers can have on biodiversity and re-wilding programmes. 

The course includes an evening Beaver experience and re-wilding tour of Coombeshead Farm, with a chance to see some of the rewilding helpers such as beaver, wild pigs, ponies, mouflon and heck cattle. 

Accommodation is not included, however the site offers beautiful Shepherd’s huts & camping which overlook the re-wilding area. This can be booked directly with the farm and a discounted rate will be provided to those who attend the course. 

Tutor: Derek Gow and Peter Cooper. Derek is the leading authority on beavers in the UK, and the architect behind much of the work to re-introduce them to the wild. He will provide an introduction to the course, and his team will deliver the remaining elements of the course.

Course Details

Eurasian beavers were once widespread in England but were hunted to extinction by the 16th century for their fur, meat and scent glands. However, they are now slowly returning to the UK, with reintroductions being licensed across the country. As such, it is extremely important to understand the ecology of this species and in particular the impact that reintroductions have on other biodiversity.

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Beaver biology, ecology and field signs
  • The history of beavers in Britain
  • Legal status of beavers
  • Beaver reintroductions and conservation case studies
  • The impact of beavers on biodiversity

This workshop will be suitable for beginners and improvers alike and may include the opportunity to observe a captive beaver. 


Thursday 23rd June:

  • 2pm: Afternoon taught session
  • 7pm: Beaver experience

Friday 24th June:

  • 9am: Second taught session
  • 11:30am: Re-wilding tour
  • 1pm: Lunch

NB - elements of this course will be taught indoors, the room is well ventilated, but please be aware of this if you are shielding.

Booking Details

The hosts at Coombeshead Farm will meet you on arrival. Lunch will be provided following the Re-wilding tour on the Friday with vegetarian and vegan options available.

We highly recommend staying overnight in the beautiful Shepherd huts or camp site available on site. On confirmation of the booking, a 15% discount code will be provided to claim discounted rates at the farm during your stay, and at any time during the 2022 season. Dinner & breakfast options will be provided by the staff at Coombeshead if staying on-site. This can all be arranged via the Coombeshead website.

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