Scottish beaver strategy unveiled

LANDOWNERS and conservationists have today unveiled a joint beaver strategy.

More than 50 organisations contributed to Scotland’s Beaver Strategy 2022-2045, with a Scottish Beaver Advisory Group being created to deliver the strategy.

Bodies that took part in the development of the plan ranged from the National Farmers’ Union of Scotland and trade body Scottish Land & Estates through to the Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland – which runs Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park – and NatureScot, the Scottish Government agency known previously as Scottish Natural Heritage.

Karen Ramoo, a policy adviser at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Beavers can play an important ecological role in our environment whilst acknowledging the negative impacts that need to be mitigated, particularly for farmers and other rural businesses.

“The new strategy has taken significant work by many different organisations to create a framework whereby future beaver expansion can be both supported and managed appropriately.

“It is an ambitious strategy that will require long-term political will and financial support in order to be effective for the species itself, and for those who work on the land and may be [affected] by wider beaver restoration.”

Francesca Osowska, chief executive at NatureScot, added: “Our ambitious long-term vision is to see the beaver population expand across Scotland, co-existing successfully with communities.

“Beavers can play an important role in helping to restore biodiversity and respond to the climate emergency in Scotland and we aim to see further releases into new catchments in Scotland this year.

“At the same time, it’s essential that this happens in a way that takes into account the views of local communities living in these areas.”

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s wildlife pages.

Plus, don’t miss Keith Kingland’s Arctic tern article in the October’s luxury issue of Scottish Field magazine.