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Landowners react to Scottish Government announcement on beavers

Scottish Land & Estates has said the Scottish Government has taken a ‘pragmatic’ approach to the future of beavers on Tayside.

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, announced today that beavers could stay on Tayside but only with active management, in line with practices in other European countries.

Anne Gray, Senior Policy Officer (Land Use & Environment) at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “The Cabinet Secretary’s decision establishes a pragmatic and rational approach that we have been advocating for a sustained period. Despite being an illegal release, it was unlikely that the government was ever going to advocate the full removal of beavers from Tayside, with competing views from wildlife and land management organisations.

“If beavers were going to stay, we asked the government to commit to a range of tools to be made available to farmers and land managers that would provide advice and strategies to mitigate beavers’ negative effects, both through non-lethal and lethal management. We are pleased that today’s announcement accepts the need for this control to be put in place to ensure that businesses are not adversely affected by beaver populations.

“This announcement not only marks the first mammal to be reintroduced to the UK, but also marks the start of a new approach to the protected species regime in the UK, whereby beaver will not simply be protected but will be monitored and actively managed so that they better integrate with other land uses, and their negative impacts can be mitigated where necessary.  We look forward to working with Scottish Government and other relevant interests to develop the management framework.” 


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