Biggest beaver survey begins next week

SCOTLAND’S largest survey of beavers will begin next week.

NatureScot, the government agency previously known as Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), will work with the University of Essex to conduct surveys in Tayside, the Forth valley and Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park during the autumn and winter.

Roo Campbell, NatureScot project lead, said: “From sightings so far this year, it looks like beavers are spreading even further in and around Tayside – there’s even been a beaver spotted in the west of Glasgow.

“This is wonderful news, as beavers play a vital role in creating habitats such as ponds and wetlands where other species thrive, alleviating flooding and improving water quality.

Campbell added: “But sometimes beavers can cause problems particularly on prime agricultural land, which is principally found on low lying farmland particularly in the east of the country.

“We expect to see the beaver population expanding away from the high conflict areas where their release or escape was unauthorised, and into more suitable habitat where they can thrive and enrich Scotland’s nature.

“In fact, this survey will tell us if that is starting to happen already.”

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s wildlife pages.