Scottish Land & Estates met with Minister for the Environment, Dr Aileen McLeod, on Wednesday to discuss general wildlife issues and to specifically set out our concerns over proposals that would see beaver confirmed as a reintroduced species to Scotland.
In particular, we highlighted the problems our arable farming members in the Tay catchment have been experiencing with flood bank erosion, damming leading to heightened water levels and tree felling, and, crucially, their fears over management regimes if the species is allowed to stay in Scotland. In a constructive meeting, Chief Executive, Doug McAdam, Policy Officer, Anne Gray and farming member, Euan Walker-Munro were able to outline the key issues and discuss how we might further influence the debate going forward. The Minister is keen to see the issues for herself and we were pleased to be able to offer her the opportunity to visit members in Tayside in the near future.
Scottish Natural Heritage is due to submit a report on options for Scotland’s beaver populations to Scottish Ministers in May 2015 after which a decision on their future status will be reached.