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.

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FAQ: What impact did the beavers have on water quality and hydrology?

As part of the scientific monitoring programme of the Scottish Beaver Trial, several independent partners assessed the impact that the beavers may have on local water quality and hydrology. They include Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, the local environmental health department of Argyll and Bute Council and the University of Stirling.

Research from elsewhere suggests that ponds and water pools created from beaver dams can have marked benefits on local water quality. Dams are usually only built on small streams, less than 3 metres wide, and these can moderate the detrimental effect of irregular flow. The modifications can also raise the water table locally creating wetland areas to the benefit of biodiversity. The ponds can help to neutralise acidic run-off, act as sinks for pollutants and increase the self-purification of a watercourse. They can form considerable sediment traps, reducing very strongly erosive runoff and particulate loads in downstream water. Dams are not necessarily permanent.

The summary outputs of the scientific monitoring are released on the Scottish Natural Heritage website as they become available from the various Independent Monitoring Partners. Visit Scottish Natural Heritage online now to find out more.

 

 

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The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust
Forestry Commission Scotland

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