All in favour of Scottish beavers

So they've finally got round to releasing a few beavers back into the wild in Scotland, I see.


"Dam Beavers"


Seeing this story reported by the BBC made me a tad nostalgic, as it was one of the first I covered when cutting my teeth as a cub reporter on an obscure local paper in rural Aberdeenshire.


That was pushing fifteen years ago now, and the debate doesn't seem to have evolved much over the past decade and a half.


On the one side, you've got those with interests in the salmon industry arguing, with some justification perhaps, that the beavers' dams will make it hard for the fish to reach their spawning grounds in dry years.


Add to that the slightly spurious argument that beavers will decimate their local forests and you start to see a case building up against the little critters.


But the other side of the coin - that historically they always lived here, we wiped them out and their reintroduction will not cause any grave threat to our safety – seems to present an unassailable argument to me, as it did in the mid 1990s when I first heard of the plans.


At the end of the day, I'm pretty sure that salmon and forests survive in Norway, where these beavers hail from.


Beavers aren't going to do us much harm, they're not that different to an otter with a penchant for knocking down a few trees.


Now when it comes to releasing a few packs of wolves in the Cairngorms, maybe we've got a more interesting debate.

Sam Bond

Topics: edie
Tags: | fish | Scotland
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