Two beavers who escaped from a fenced west Dorset enclosure have been located and are set to return home.

The public were urged to look out for the pair of Eurasian beavers, Woody and Twiggy, after they escaped from Mapperton Estate near Beaminster on January 15 after their home was damaged in a storm. 

The escapees were thought to be somewhere along the banks of the Mangerton river and staff at the estate were keen to hear of any sightings.

In a Facebook post today, Mapperton House said it was 'delighted' to announce that the beavers had been found.

The animals are 'living comfortably' in a holding pen while repairs are carried out to their enclosure.

The beavers were released into the enclosure last year under licence from Natural England as part of the Mapperton Wildlands rewilding project.


"Mapperton Estate is delighted to report that our errant pair of Eurasian beavers, Woody and Twiggy, have been located and returned home," the estate said on social media.

"They are living comfortably in a holding pen until repairs have been made to their enclosure.

"Thank you to members of the local community for helping identify their location and for all the messages of support.

"If you would like to visit Woody and Twiggy and learn about our rewilding project please join a Mapperton Wildlands tour later this year."

Beavers are native to the UK and were commonplace in Dorset until they were hunted to extinction in the 1600s.

They are known as a keystone species because of their important contribution to ecosystems through dam building and the creation of wetlands.

The dams can also help mitigate flooding during storm events and improve water quality through sediment trapping.

Eurasian beavers are now a protected species in England and it is against the law to harm them intentionally or destroy their homes.