Face the change: making space for the beaver

A really excellent and articulate text about the reintroduction of the Beaver into the UK landscape, and the essential nature of change, by Katherine Price, first published on ‘Caught By The River’ May 23rd 2015 – ‘Face the change: making space for the beaver’.

Katherine Price worked as a gardener at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew for ten years and now leads the comms team at SOAS. She wrote the ‘Kew Guide’ (2014). Agent Richford Becklow is trying to find a publisher for her first novel, ‘The Greening of Louise Long’.

Katherine Price

First published by Caught by the River on 23 May 2015

On my windowsill is a piece of willow. Thirty centimetres long, ten centimetres in diameter, its grey fissured bark is splashed by lichen the colour of fresh egg yolks. At one end it is flat, where I cut it with a saw so that I could take it with me. At the other end it is beautifully worked. It dwindles to a point and the cone is multifaceted, like a pencil that has been sharpened with a penknife. Each angled plane is striped by lateral ridges as if it had been shaped with a gouge. Precise, purposeful.

Willow worked by beavers Willow worked by beavers

When I show this wood to friends, they don’t know what to make of it. They would never have come across it in England. Or at least, not until now.

This willow was shaped by beavers. They’ve been…

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