Scottish Beaver Trial

Latest project update

The Scottish Beaver Trial has welcomed new births for the third year in a row. Three young kits have been born to one family group, marking the most successful breeding season since the Trial began. All three are doing well and growing up fast. For more information about the kits, visit the official project website.

About the Scottish Beaver Trial

The Scottish Wildlife Trust, in partnership with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and Forestry Commission Scotland, released the first beavers to live in Scotland in over 400 years in May 2009. This marks the first formal reintroduction of a native mammal species in the UK.

The beaver families are now settling into their new home in the Knapdale Forest, Mid-Argyll, and will remain there for a five-year period from 2009 to 2014. An independent scientific monitoring programme will be carried out by SNH to assess the effect beavers have on the local environment and how well they settle in Scotland. Read our FAQs for more information.

Scottish Beaver Trial staff also offer advice to other beaver projects throughout the UK, including representing the Scottish Wildlife Trust on the Tayside Beaver Study Group.

Why reintroduce beavers?

Beavers are a native species to the UK, hunted to extinction in the 16th century. By modifying their surroundings through coppicing, feeding and, in some cases, damming, beavers create ponds and wetlands which attract other species, provide a food source to others, and can even help improve water quality. For this reason, they are known as a 'keystone' species.

Paying a visit to Knapdale

The beaver family at the Dubh Loch is most often seen by visitors, having had the most impact on the surrounding landscape. The best time to see them in the water tends to be in the early morning and evening. We recommend that you start your visit at the Barnluasgan Information Centre, which also offers car parking facilities.

How can you help

With £56,000 still left to raise to support the Scottish Beaver Trial, every gift makes a vital contribution to our project. Donate online or join the Scottish Wildlife Trust today and become a beaver supporter! Alternatively, for more information on the Trial - including volunteer opportunities - visit

Supporters of the Scottish Beaver Trial

Biffa Award PTES People's Postcode Lottery Species Action Framework

The John Ellerman Foundation, Albert George & Nancy Caroline Youngman Trust, The European Nature Trust, The J & JR Wilson Trust, The Craignish Trust and The Mackintosh Foundation.

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The Scottish Wildlife Trust is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland (registered number SC040247), having its registered office at

Harbourside House, 110 Commercial St, Edinburgh EH6 6NF. It is also a Scottish registered charity (charity number SC005792). Privacy policy & Cookie policy.