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Beaver trial a milestone for Scottish biodiversity

Press Release Friday 29th May 2009

Contact: Kerrigan Bell. Telephone 01309 691292; Email


European beaver
Photo by Laurie Campbell

Today’s reintroduction of beavers to the wild in Scotland for the first time in 400 years is a milestone for the protection and improvement of Scotland’s biodiversity, said conservation charity Trees for Life.

Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham is due to visit the trial site at Knapdale in Argyll later today to release some of the 17 beavers from Norway.

Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life’s Executive Director, said: “The Scottish Beaver Trial is a major step forward in reversing our country's long history of biodiversity decline and loss.

“It will bring multiple benefits. Beavers help create wetland and other habitats, and encourage other wildlife including frogs, dragonflies, otters and ospreys. They help to purify water, prevent flooding and boost local economies by attracting tourists.

“As part of our work restoring the Caledonian Forest, we want to see the eventual return of the large native mammals that disappeared with their habitat. They are essential parts of a balanced, healthy forest ecosystem.”

Trees for Life commended the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland for their hard work on the beaver project, and said that public support for the project demonstrated people’s commitment to enhancing Scotland’s biodiversity.

People can support Trees for Life’s work through specially-dedicated trees and Groves, and by planting trees during Conservation Volunteer Weeks. For more information call 0845 458 3506, email or visit



Notes to editors

  1. The decision by the Scottish Government to allow a trial reintroduction of European beavers to Mid-Argyll was announced in May 2008. This followed a licence application for the trial submitted in December 2007 by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. The submission was made after a two-month long consultation revealed that more than 73% of respondents from Mid-Argyll supported the trial reintroduction.
  2. Trees for Life aims to restore the Caledonian Forest to an area of 1,500 square kilometres in the Scottish Highlands west of Inverness.
  3. Since planting its first trees in 1991 in Glen Affric, Trees for Life has planted over 800,000 trees. Its awards include 1991 UK Conservation Project of the Year, the Millennium Marque in 2000 and Top 10 Conservation Holidays worldwide in 2009.

Pages about European Beaver on this site

External links to pages about European Beaver in the UK


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Published: 29th May 2009
Last updated: 01 December 2012

Trees for Life is an award winning conservation charity working to restore the Caledonian Forest
and all its species to a large contiguous area in the Highlands of Scotland.

Trees for Life is a registered charity Scottish charity No. SC021303, and a company limited by guarantee No. 143304 with its registered offices at Forres, Scotland.
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