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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 an exciting development for wildlife enthusiasts all over Scotland and beyond ... their reappearance will draw tourists from around the British Isles - and even further afield." - MSP Jim Mather

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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