Beavers are to make a comeback in rivers in England.
The mammals have been extinct in Britain for more than 400 years.
They were reintroduced into the wild in 2009 in an experimental scheme.
Now the Government is starting a 12-week consultation over the plans to bring back beavers.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said it would take a “cautious approach” to consider potential impacts.
Conservationists say beavers would boost eco-tourism and create important wetlands.
Rob Stoneman, of The Wildlife Trusts, said:
“Beavers can help to improve the quality of rivers and wetlands and the wildlife they support, improve water quality, and reduce flood risk, as well as contributing to carbon storage.”
However, Richard Bramley, chairman of the National Farmers Union’s environment forum, said:
“Any impact on a farmer’s ability to produce food needs to be included as part of a full impact assessment carried out before any licence is issued.
“We must remember that beaver reintroductions can have negative impacts; potentially undermining riverbanks, damaging trees, impeding drainage and causing low-lying fields to flood.”