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: Do beavers cause damage to farmland and the wider countryside?

Evidence from Europe shows that shows that beaver damage is, in the vast majority of cases, small-scale and localised. Beavers are not regarded as pests in Europe and where localised problems have occurred, there are a number of well-established methods in place. These include the removal of dams, the introduction of overflow piping, or the installation of fencing (as one does for deer and rabbits). Some countries with sustainable beaver populations permit seasonal hunting in specified regions. Click here for further information from European case studies.

In the first year of the Trial, there was one incident of damage, where an itinerant beaver felled approximately 25 small, bankside willow trees on neighbouring land. Many of these trees have subsequently regenerated, but the Trial partners also took the step of replacing them with 100 new willow trees, which was greatly appreciated by the landowner.

Any damage caused by beaver to farmland and the wider countryside surrounding Knapdale Forest was an aspect which will was monitored by Scottish Natural Heritage as part of the independent scientific monitoring programme.



Project partners

The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust
Forestry Commission Scotland

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"This is a truly unique and groundbreaking project and Biffaward is delighted to be the major funding partner." - Gillian French, Biffaward's Programme Manager

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The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust