The Scottish Beaver Trial is a time-limited licensed trial to see the impact once native beavers will have in a Scottish context. The project is being independently monitored by Scottish Natural Heritage who will report their findings at the end of the trial to the Scottish Government. The Government will then make a decision about the future of beavers in Scotland.
Beavers are incredibly useful creatures. They have the ability to adapt and change their surroundings for their own benefit and for the good of other species. Wetlands they create attract frogs, toads, water voles, dragonflies, birds and fish. In woodlands, they help to stimulate new growth by gnawing on tree stems and coppicing.
Twenty-three European countries have already successfully reintroduced beavers back to their shores and the UK is one of the last to consider reinstating these mammals. As a result there is a wealth of research, experience and knowledge that suggests that there is little evidence that beavers will have a detrimental impact on salmon migration.
In countries like Norway, beavers have lived quite happily alongside salmon for centuries, and there is no evidence of beavers being a serious issue. If they were, we would see widespread indications of this and preliminary work in Norway even shows that salmon can bypass beaver dams.
As part of the trial process, the licence holders (Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland) are keen to ensure that we work with those organisations that may have concerns but ultimately that this is a trial.
Project Manager, Scottish Beaver Trial
Scottish Wildlife Trust