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Concerns remain over beaver reintroduction proposals

Scottish Land & Estates has said there is ‘much to consider’ following today’s publication of a report on the future of beavers in Scotland.

The Beavers in Scotland report, produced by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), has been sent to the Scottish Government to provide a summary of existing knowledge about the likely impact of beavers living in the wild in Scotland and options for their management, and sets out four scenarios for Scottish Ministers to consider. These range from full removal of all beavers to the widespread reintroduction of beavers across Scotland. Ministers asked for the report to help them decide whether to permanently reintroduce beavers to Scotland.

Anne Gray, Policy Officer (Environment) at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “The report is wide-ranging and extensive and whilst we are still digesting its full contents, it is clear that there is much to consider from the study.

“We are pleased to see that the report acknowledges that beaver have no natural predator and therefore, as populations grow, a management strategy will be required if some form of reintroduction is sanctioned. 

“However,  we are concerned that the costs associated with this management have not been quantified and it is not clear whether government agencies will carry out this management or whether it will be expected that farmers and landowners will have to take on this task.  It is clear though that allowing beaver to remain in Scotland has long-term management, and therefore cost, implications and these need to be properly understood before Scotland commits to such a decision.” 


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