FAQ: How long was the Scottish Beaver Trial?

The Trial commenced in May 2009 when the beavers first arrived in Knapdale and lasted for five years. After its conclusion in 2014, there is now currently a period for reporting where the impact of the beavers' activities on the environment and economy is being assessed.

The licence for this time-limited trial reintroduction was granted by the Scottish Government in May 2008. The beaver families were all caught in the Telemark region of Norway and transported to quarantine facilities in Devon and Scotland. They all completed a statutory quarantine period before being released in the Trial site.

The beaver families were closely monitored by a project team on the ground for the duration of the Trial period. Scottish Natural Heritage was tasked by the Scottish Government to co-ordinate the scientific assessment of the Trial and lead a group of external independent monitoring partners in the delivery of this programme. They reported to the Scottish Government on whether the conditions of the licence were being met. It is for the Scottish Government to now decide on the future of beavers in Knapdale Forest after the Trial ended in 2014.



Project partners

The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust
Forestry Commission Scotland

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    Beavers are back in Scotland!

    On 24 November 2016, the Scottish Government made the landmark announcement that beavers are to remain in Scotland. This is the first time that a mammal has been formally reintroduced in UK history.

    The trial population of beavers remains in Knapdale, and the Scottish Beaver partners are now focussing their efforts on re-enforcing this population to ensure its long term future.

    Boosting the Knapdale beaver population

    For updates on the beaver re-enforcement project, please visit the website of the Scottish Wildlife Trust or the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland by clicking on the adjacent logos.

    The Scottish Beaver Trial website

    Now that the Trial has ended, this website will no longer be updated. However, if you would like to browse our historical records on the website, please click the button to continue.

    Scottish Beaver Trial RZSS Scottish Wildlife Trust