First beaver born on Exmoor in 400 years

The first baby beaver born on Exmoor for 400 years has been named after the England football star Marcus Rashford

The young beaver, known as a kit, which was born around six weeks ago before being captured on camera on the National Trust's Holnicote Estate in Somerset earlier this week, was named after the striker after a public poll on social media.

More than 500 suggestions for a name for the new arrival – a baby to mother Grylls and father Yogi – were narrowed down to four options by rangers at Holnicote, before being put to a vote.

Some 2,800 people took part in the ballot, with half the votes placed for 'Rashford' in honour of the footballer.   

The name Banksy, after the artist who hails from the region, came in second place with 17 per cent of the vote, while Hope and Pip both scored 16 per cent. 

The sighting of the baby animal comes just 18 months after the conservation charity undertook its first licensed enclosed release of two Eurasian beavers in its 125-year history. 

The once-native semi-aquatic mammals are making a return to Britain after being hunted to extinction for their fur, glands and meat in the 16th century.

In 2001, two families of Norwegian beavers were released in Kent to help maintain wetlands that were hard to reach with machinery and in 2009, the Scottish Government approved a trial reintroduction at Knapdale, Argyll. 

Meanwhile in 2011, a pair of juvenile beavers were released in a three-hectare fenced enclosure in northern Devon and in November last year beavers built their first dam in Exmoor in more than 400 years after river restoration by the National Trust.

Beavers, who are described as nature's engineers, use their teeth to fell trees and divide them up into smaller branches before building dams. 

It is believed the mammal's activities could increase biodiversity, while filtering and cleaning water.

The dams could even reduce flooding by slowing the rate of water passing through rivers and streams during storms.