Beavers to return after 400 years - its official!

  • Hey Guest, We're having our annual Winter Moot and we'd love you to come. PLEASE LOOK HERE to secure your place and get more information.
    For forum threads CLICK HERE

Beer Monster

Need to contact Admin...
Aug 25, 2004
With the gnu!
Saw this on the BBC this morning, searched the forum but could see anyone posting it so:-

BBC website said:
Beavers to return after 400 years

The European beaver is to be reintroduced to Scotland for the first time in more than 400 years, the Scottish Government has announced.

Environment Minister Michael Russell has given the go-ahead for up to four beaver families to be released in Knapdale, Argyll, on a trial basis.

The beavers will be caught in Norway and released in spring 2009.

Mr Russell said: "This is an exciting development for wildlife enthusiasts all over Scotland and beyond."

The beavers, which will be captured in autumn 2008, will be put into quarantine for six months before three to four families are released. Five lochs have been proposed for the release.

This will be the first-ever formal reintroduction of a native mammal into the wild in the UK.

The trial will be run over five years by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) monitoring the project.

Mr Russell added: "The beaver was hunted to extinction in this country in the 16th Century and I am delighted that this wonderful species will be making a comeback.

"They are charismatic, resourceful little mammals and I fully expect their reappearance in Knapdale to draw tourists from around the British Isles and even further afield.

"Other parts of Europe, with a similar landscape to Scotland, have reintroduced beavers and evidence has shown that they can also have positive ecological benefits, such as creating and maintaining a habitat hospitable to other species."

'Historic moment'

Scottish Natural Heritage will closely monitor the progress of the beavers over the next five years to consider the impact on the local environment and economy before any decision on a wider reintroduction.

Professor Colin Galbraith, director of policy for SNH, said: "The decision is excellent news. For the first time we will have the opportunity to see how beavers fit into the Scottish countryside in a planned and managed trial.

"No other beaver reintroduction project in Europe has gone through such a long, and thorough, process of preparation, assessment and examination."

Prof Galbraith added that although beavers had been spotted in the wild in isolated cases, they had usually been caught and returned to zoos.

Allan Bantick, chairman of the Scottish Beaver Trial Steering Group, said it was a "historic moment" for wildlife conservation.

"By bringing these useful creatures back to their native environment we will have the chance to restore a missing part of our wetland ecosystems and re-establish much needed natural processes," he said.

David Windmill, chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said: "It is a strong and visible sign of the Scottish Government's commitment to carrying out conservation in Scotland and re-building our depleted biodiversity."

Simon Milne, chief executive of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, said the challenge was now for the licence holders to raise funds for the project.



Full Member
Apr 28, 2008
Somerset, UK.
I thought that one of the Lairds had already introduced beaver to his land, either that or Johnny Kingdom managed a complete show with a total farce that had been filmed in Canada and portrayed as being in Scotland.

But these were in a very large enclosure rather than a re-introduction.



Nov 27, 2004
Hull, East Yorkshire, UK.
Now we need to to reintroduce wolves to keep their numbers down.

Seriously, though, I think it's great. It's only a token number, but we have so few mammal species that a 'new' one is brilliant.


Feb 20, 2008
New England
Be careful what you wish for about 10 years ago some well meaning activists had the trapping laws drastictly changed in Massachusetts. Since then beavers have become a huge nuisance. They breed like crazy, we had a flooding problem at work because of the beavers. Because of the new laws we had to have a state authorized trapper come in to remove the beavers. He trapped 30 beavers out of the small stream that flows through the property. This year they have returned and the problem has started all over again. Bear in mind I am in my early 40'sand as a young'un I never even saw a beaver. Now you can't go anywhere without being blocked by a beaver pond.


Jun 2, 2008
I've seen Beavers in Latvia at the last time I was over there, they have an amazing wildlife and very undisturbed country side.
In fact Latvia is pretty much a bushcrafters dream come true


Sep 29, 2004
Hmm - wonder what their status be as protected wildlife? Will beaver-hunting become the new craze in the UK? :p


We have a a number of knives, T-Shirts and other items for sale.