Metamorphoses: England’s Beavers


It was a sensation! When photos of free-ranging beavers appeared in England in 2014, the topic dominated the British press for days. After all, the rodents had been considered extinct in the wild for 500 years. The mysterious return of the wild English beaver polarised the public: conservationists celebrated the new arrival of the beaver as an enrichment for nature. Opponents claimed that the rodents should be recaptured because they could damage agriculture.

In order to allow the beavers to continue living in the wild, the regional environmental protection organisation Devon Wildlife Trust tried to provide solid evidence of the positive effects of beavers on the environment in a five-year research programme.

Their findings are straightforward: the comeback of the “eco-engineer”-beaver increases biodiversity, purifies water and prevents flooding. But will the scientists be listened to despite the fears and lobby of the farmers?

Written and directed by Christian Heynen // Camera: Ole von Öhsen, Michael Kern, Matt Haworth, Sylvie Meller // Sound: Maximilian Bartusch // Film editor: Marc Schubert // Music: Thomas Wolter // Soundmix: Florian Ebrecht // Narrator: Philipp Schepmann // Grading: Dany Schelby // Production assistant: Annemarie Zertisch // Production manager: Katja Sträter // Executive producers: Sarah Zierul, Thomas Weidenbach // ARTE G.E.I.E.: ‘Wissen’ department – Christian Cools, Sabine Joertz, under the direction of Alexander von Harling, Production – Heike Lettau, Yvette Durrenberger // A production by Längengrad Filmproduktion in coproduction with Arte

  • YEAR 2022
  • LENGTH 52/45 minutes
  • DISTRIBUTION Albatross World Sales