BEAVERS could be introduced on the Isle of Wight, as part of a plan to purchase and protect land in the Eastern Yar.

An urgent £245,000 appeal has been launched by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to raise funds to buy Parsonage Farm and Hill Heath, which together form a rich tapestry of habitats, from ancient woodland and river, to grazed pasture and marshland.

By purchasing the land, the trust has an opportunity to give the Island’s nationally important wildlife the space it needs to thrive.

One of the suggestions is to introduce beavers to the area — as natural 'river engineers'.

The sites are adjacent to Martin’s Wood, an existing trust nature reserve, and form part of a wider network of sites which are managed by the trust and other conservation bodies.

The two pieces of land are perfectly placed to create a flourishing landscape for wildlife.

The purchase would become the trust's largest reserve on the Island, totalling 124 acres.

Jamie Marsh, reserves manager for the trust on the Isle of Wight, said: "We can see a future here where red squirrels leap among the branches, dormice nestle in the undergrowth and bats flit across the evening skyline.

"With an abundance of insects and invertebrates rising from the marshes to feed small birds and mammals, we could be treated to the sight of predators such as buzzards and barn owls.

"The stretch of river running through Parsonage Farm could become a real stronghold for water voles and other wetland wildlife, once restored to its natural state.

"And could introducing beavers be one of the solutions? Elsewhere, these ‘river engineers’ are breathing life back into degraded floodplains, and they could do the same on the Island.

"This could be the start of a much wilder future for the Island."

Thanks to a generous gift in the will of an Island resident, the trust already has a contribution towards the purchase price.

It also has a generous offer from a supporter to ‘match’ the first £20,000 raised.

The £245,000 is needed to complete the purchase before the end of November.

To find out more about the appeal, or make a donation, go to or call 01489 774408.

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