FAQ: What is the conservation status of Knapdale Forest and will species in the area continue to be safeguarded?

Knapdale Forest has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its oak woodland, freshwater lochs and the presence of marsh fritillary butterfly and otter. It is also part of a wider Special Area of Conservation.

A scientific monitoring programme, which is integral to the Trial, is assessing the impact beavers are having in Knapdale Forest. The Trial includes adequate safeguards (independently assessed by Scottish Natural Heritage) to protect the natural heritage of the area.

Forestry Commission Scotland is the host partner of the Scottish Beaver Trial and believes that Knapdale Forest is an ideal location to carry out the project as it covers a range of important habitats and biodiversity. The Trial area is also in the heart of a forest which produces timber and provides recreational facilities for people, making it a suitable place to explore how beavers co-exist with forestry operations and the environment.

Click here for further details of the conservation status of the site.



Project partners

The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust
Forestry Commission Scotland

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    The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust


    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