In an experimental move to prevent flooding, the U.K. government is turning to nature’s dam-building experts: beavers. That’s right. A pair of adult Eurasian beavers and two baby beavers will be moved into an enclosed 16-acre site within Gloucestershire’s Forest of Dean (Yes! That is where Harry Potter finds the Sword of Godric Gryffindor in the final Harry Potter novel). The hope is that the beavers will do what beavers do—build dams and ponds.
“Scientists believe the beavers may be able to hold back enough water to help with flood alleviation for Lydbrook by quickly constructing natural dam structures and creating new habitats,” said a government statement.
The Forest of Dean experiment could set a new, more sustainable precedent for flood prevention in the country. Rather than build man-made dams which require periodic maintenance and may not suit everyone’s aesthetic tastes, the beavers use natural materials salvaged on-site and instinctually take care of upkeep.
The government has already released applications and guidelines for others hoping to bring more beavers into the English countryside.
“The beaver has a special place in English heritage,” said Environment Secretary Michael Gove. “The project is an example of the wider approach we are taking to enhance biodiversity, becoming the first generation to leave the environment in a better state for future generations and deliver on our plans for a green Brexit.”