The scientific monitoring period of the Scottish Beaver Trial came to an end in May 2014. In June 2015, Scottish Natural Heritage published the Beavers in Scotland Report.

On 24 November 2016, the Scottish Government made the landmark announcement that beavers are to remain in Scotland. For more information, please read the joint press release issued by RZSS and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Close message


FAQ: Do beavers build dams?

Beavers are well known for their construction skills. They tend to build dams when their habitat does not provide all the conditions suitable for a beaver's needs. Beavers feel safe with water around them and so to ensure their safety, a beaver may construct a dam in order to create deeper ponds on which to build their lodge, and/or to enable water access to food resources. Eurasian beavers often create smaller dams than their North American counterparts, on smaller tributaries rather than broad, fast flowing rivers.

Knapdale Forest was chosen as the location for the Scottish Beaver Trial as it features a range of habitats suitable for beaver activity. When beavers do dam, this modification can have a positive effect for biodiversity. Their ponds benefit many species including otters, water shrews, water voles, birds, invertebrates (especially dragonflies) and breeding fish. Dams can also hold water in periods of drought, can regulate flooding and improve water quality by holding silt behind dams and catching acidic and agricultural run-off.

The beaver: keystone species of wet woodland and forest



Project partners

The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust
Forestry Commission Scotland

Beaver blog latest

Comments of support

"The beaver is a missing part of our watery landscapes and has a role to play in the healthy functioning of wetland habitats." - Stephanie Hilborne, Chief Executive for The Wildlife Trusts

With thanks to

Beaver Trial Supporters
People's Postcode Lottery

See our other supporters

The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust