First Cairngorms beavers in 400 years is well worth celebrating – Scotsman comment

Moving reintroduced beavers away from areas where they cause problems is a better idea than killing them

Reintroducing extinct species can be problematic and beavers have proved to be just that in parts of Scotland. Before a change of policy in 2021, Scotland found itself in the ridiculous position of returning the animals famed as ‘nature’s engineers’ to the wild, only to then start killing them off when, predictably, they started to cause problems for farmers.

Thankfully, common sense prevailed and the beavers are instead simply being moved elsewhere. This new approach recently saw one pair and their kits relocated to “Paradise Fields”, an eight-hectare area of woodland and wetlands in Ealing, London.

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Now up to six beaver families are to become the first members of their species to set foot in the Cairngorms in about 400 years. It’s surely a better location than, say, Perthshire farmland, and we imagine the animals themselves would probably agree, given they are likely to be left in peace.

Relations between humans and wildlife have long been fraught but as this latest news suggests, with some thought and a bit of effort, it’s possible to find ways to live together. And that, we think, is well worth celebrating.

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