The leaky dams built by beavers apparently help cool the surrounding area due to the water that gradually seeps out, while the evaporation of the water stored in the ponds created by beavers helps cool the air.
As the United Kingdom hardens the heatwave that descended upon the country this summer, the particular area in Sussex seems to be faring fairly well in this situation thanks to a pair of beavers that were introduced to a rewilding project there earlier this year.
The dams constructed by the beavers apparently resulted in a small river turning into a system of ponds and channels that help irrigate the surrounding lands during a dry spell, according to phys.org.
“The beavers have already made a little network of ponds from the damming that they’ve done, they’ve been chewing back some of the vegetation in the ponds and we’ve got little beaver lawns,” said Penny Green, a resident ecologist at Knepp Wildland, the rewilding project in question. “But the most interesting thing for us at the moment is that even though we’re in a huge drought year, and most of the little streams either side of the enclosure are running dry, here in the beaver pen it is the most amazing wetland oasis all around us.”
As Green has explained, the fact that the dams built by beavers are “slightly leaky” is a boon, since “there will be a bit of water trickling out when there perhaps wouldn’t be so much water in our landscapes during drought years like this year.”
Also, the beaver’s efforts help cool the surrounding area, as deeper water stored in their ponds “typically has lower temperature”, and the spillage and evaporation of that water helps decrease the temperature of both the land and the air.
It is currently illegal for beavers to be released into the wild in England, with the pair of beavers in Knepp Wildland being installed in a two-hectare enclosure there as a licensed trial, the media outlet adds.