The second speaker was Chris Jones, a farmer and member of the Cornwall Beaver Project. He described the successful re-introduction of a small number of beavers on his land which, since 2014, have transformed the area into a large wetland with ponds, open canopy woodland and ground vegetation which are a haven for wildlife. The biodiversity has greatly increased, with mammals like polecat, water shrew and harvest mice returning, and birds like water rail, willow tit, firecrest, shoveler and hobby turning up in increasing numbers. Fish numbers have also increased in the numerous streams formed from dam overflows. Studies by Exeter University have shown that the wetland acts as a sponge, absorbing farm pollutants such as nitrates, phosphates and silt, as well as acting as large carbon “sinks”, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change. In 2019, Storm Dennis threatened villages downstream of the wetland, but flooding was prevented by the beavers’ engineering, as predicted.