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New research on environmental benefits of beavers - Scottish Land & Estates' response

Scottish Land & Estates has responded to new research by the University of Stirling looking at the environmenal benefits of beavers.

The study, partly-funded by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), found beavers had an exceptional ability to re-create diverse wetland landscapes.

However, Scottish Land & Estates said such environmetal benefits had to be weighed against the issues created for farmers and land managers.

Karen Ramoo, policy officer at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Environmental benefits of beaver populations are well publicised but so too are the significant difficulties beavers can have for farmers and land managers. In Tayside, we saw problems occur on agricultural land where drainage channels became blocked by beaver dams. There were also issues with bank erosion and tree gnawing. Reintroduction and any future translocation of the species will need careful management to minimise adverse impacts and conflict with land uses which can be brought about by the beavers felling, burrowing and damming behaviour.

“We support the Scottish Government’s pragmatic approach that allowed beavers to remain in Argyll and Tayside but with active management in place to mitigate the problems beavers create. It should not be the case that conservation benefits are solely promoted without recognising the consequences on a working countryside, and we were pleased to see the government announce that the recent illegal beaver release in Beauly will be managed in accordance with its statement on this issue late last year.”

 

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