Beavers back in Wales.


In 2008 the Scottish government granted a licence for the Scottish wildlife trust to begin trials on reintroducing beavers back into wild. In the mornings of 28th and 29th of May 2009 three families of beavers (11 animals in total) were successfully released into three separate lochs within the Knapdale Forest.

This has been a success, in August of this year (2013) it was reported that two kits were born, although they couldn’t be certain of the actual number due to previous kits not making an appearance until late September.  Overall the trial has been a huge success.

Up to date reports can be found at

With the Scottish trial being so successful,  Natural Resources Wales are working with Farmers and fisheries to bring back Beavers into Wales.

Beavers were wiped out across Britain due to Hunting. They were hunted primarily for their fur. In Med evil times they were hunted for their sent glands to make Castoreum (similar to Aspirin in today’s medicine.)

Castoreum is an aromatic excretion of the castor sacs of the mature North American or European beaver. Used by the animal during scent marking and mating, this bitter, strong-smelling, orange-brown secretion is dried, ground and put into alcohol to produce the aromatic castoreum resinoid used in perfumery.

In a couple of articles I read, there is still evidence that this is still used for certain food flavorings in today’s  food.

Castoreum is an FDA-approved food additive in the United States, and appears on the ingredient lists of many food, beverages, and chewing gums. This is listed as

“Natural Flavoring”

It’s also used in a wide range of fragrances !

Although there is a bit of grey area in these articles, they’re worth a read..

and fellow Blogger

Anyhow these are a few reasons why beavers are hunted and were  wiped out in Britain

the reintroduction of beavers back into wales is a fantastic idea…Humans wiped them out so it’s only fair we bring them back!

Bringing the beavers back would have a overall positive affect through out Wales not only would it be fantastic from an ecology point of view but beavers are like by all and would Benefit the financial climate, in increasing tourism to the area.   ( it’s a sad fact that when asking about reintroducing a species back into an area, that was wiped out by humans. is money. so tourism is high up on the list!

Human greed and money aside the main benefits which I think is more important are

Beaver play a crucial role as a ‘keystone’ species, restoring wetland eco-systems and producing a network of enriched riparian habitats.

Ponds created from damming provide beaver with a food source as well as protection from predators. They promote growth of aquatic vegetation and create a favoured habitat for invertebrates which in turn encourages greater amphibian and mammal life – including otter, water vole, frog, newt and dragonfly.

The coppicing of trees and other vegetation reduces canopy cover and creates further habitat diversity as well as providing a supply of dead wood. Increased light levels encourage growth of under-storey plants and aquatic flora as well as a growing abundance of invertebrates – with further benefits to a wide range of species including birds such as duck, heron, woodpecker and kingfisher.  (Natural Resources Wales)

The only Negative impact, that’s if it can be classes as negative is localized flooding from damming, this does lead to tree death, But this then leads to enriching the ecosystem.

More information can be found Or

Overall I think it’s a fantastic idea to bring beavers back to Wales. I wish the Welsh Beaver project team the best of luck and can’t wait to see some beavers in the Wild

090723_beavers_1          Baby-Beaver-Kit-2-288x192 Photo by Shutterstock

And finally something just to make you Smile

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2 Responses to Beavers back in Wales.

  1. amygowing says:

    I really enjoyed this lecture and reading your post, and I too think that beavers should definitely be reintroduced to Wales. It seems like the only fair thing to do as humans wiped them out in the first place. However, there are a few disadvantages which need to be taken into account. These include feeding on crops, felling trees and burrowing under fields as well as the flooding which you mentioned. With the easy management of these problems by buffer zones and culverts I hope this reintroduction will be successful and a great step towards increasing UK biodiversity!

  2. Pingback: November Blog Comments | bsue8e

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