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Conservation site saves beaver families

Words by Smiley Team

Two families of beavers have been relocated to a new home in Scotland after being rescued from a different fate.

The Argaty Red Kite centre situated on a Perthshire family farm has agreed to take in the beavers after they were relocated from agricultural land, beaver culling is permitted to prevent damage to farmland. 

Now, the two sets of happy families have a forever home where they will be safe and free to roam and build new dams. 

“We thought it was really a shame to lose beavers in such high numbers when they can go elsewhere, and when they are so great for the environment. It seemed like total madness really," says Tom Bowser, owner of Argaty Red Kites.

“We are beyond thrilled that by becoming Scotland’s first private site to legally release beavers into the wild, we have been able to save these animals.”

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Beaver dams create nature-rich wetlands that are great for other species like amphibians, invertebrates and fish. Their dams can even improve local water quality, reduce downstream flooding, and soak up carbon dioxide. 

Tom and the family team in Perthshire welcomed the first family of beavers back in November, and the second family were homed just last month.

Both groups are families of two adult beavers, with two young offspring each.

“We’re delighted to have carried out this groundbreaking translocation," says Eva Bishop, spokesperson for Beaver Trust. "Responsible translocations are an important tool for allowing Scotland to expand its beaver population while sensitively managing impacts on farmland."

The importance of beavers

Beavers were once an integral part of Scotland’s ecosystem but in the 1500s they were hunted into extinction and did not return until 2009 when they were reintroduced.

There is still a way to go in building up beaver communities, but last year the Scottish government announced new measures to actively support the expansion of the beaver population. Tom’s farm is leading the way and making history as the first site of a successful beaver translocation.

The family farm, which has been in Tom’s family since 1916, has long since been at the forefront of conservationism.

It is home to the successful reintroduction of red kites, a bird of prey that had previously been wiped out since the early 1900s, as well as the site of an abundance of rare red squirrels. 

“I think the family’s stewardship of the land has always been driven by environmentalism, and this is another step in that direction," adds Tom.

“We owe huge thanks to Beaver Trust for supporting the translocation and to the many hundreds of people who supported our consultations, as well as the people whose land the beavers were removed from for engaging in non-lethal control.”

Images: ©

Inspired to act?

DONATE: Beaver Trust works with a wide range of partners, stakeholders and communities to catalyse the restoration of our natural ecosystems. Donate to them now.  

VISIT: You can visit the Argaty Red Kites farm – find out more.


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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