Scottish Beaver Trial

End of the monitoring phase

The monitoring phase of the Scottish Beaver Trial has now finished but you can still visit the beavers in Knapdale. All the scientific findings from the trial were written up and presented to the Scottish Government by Scottish Natural Heritage in May 2015. Beavers will remain in Knapdale until a decision is made, hopefully in the second half of 2016. In the meantime, you can watch a highlights video on the Trial website now.

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 well settled in the Knapdale Forest, Mid-Argyll, and will remain there until the Scottish Government makes a decision on the future of the species in Scotland. An independent scientific monitoring programme was carried out by SNH to assess the effect that the trial population had on the local environment and how well they settled in Scotland. Read our FAQs for more information.

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.

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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