Beavers could return to Glen Affric

BEAVERS could soon return to Glen Affric in the Highlands as early as this autumn.

Conservation charity Trees for Life is applying to NatureScot – the Scottish Government agency known previously as Scottish Natural Heritage – for a licence to reintroduce the creatures to the glen.

The application is supported by four landowners and Forestry & Land Scotland (FLS), another Scottish Government agency.

The bid follows a public consultation.

Alan McDonnell, conservation manager at Trees for Life, said: “We’ve worked hard to ensure an inclusive, considered consultation, with all voices having the chance to be listened to.

“This has been key to our recommendations and we’re very grateful to everyone who took part.”

“The return of beavers to Glen Affric would be a story of hope and renewal – these remarkable animals can help us tackle the nature and climate emergencies.

“Their dams create nature-rich wetlands that also absorb carbon, reduce flooding downstream and improve water quality.

“We believe it is important that the community is closely involved in following how these animals progress into the future.”

Trees for Life added: “Part of the background to the proposal has also been the unofficial presence of a small number of beavers on the rivers Glass and Beauly for at least the past 10 years.

“Incidents of these beavers affecting people’s interests appear to have caused only occasional and minor concern.”

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s wildlife pages.

Plus, don’t miss Andy Dobson’s article about rockpools in the March issue of Scottish Field magazine.