UK: World Biodiversity Day: Beaver trial one of the most positive steps for Scottish biodiversity in decades

Posted in May 2009

Conservation charity Trees for Life today marked World Biodiversity Day (22 May) by praising the imminent Scottish Beaver Trial – which will see beavers living wild in the country for the first time in over 400 years – as one of the most positive steps towards safeguarding and enhancing Scotland’s biodiversity in decades.

In the UK’s first-ever formal mammal reintroduction, beavers from Norway will be reintroduced to Knapdale, Mid-Argyll.

Trees for Life commended the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland for their hard work in getting to this stage and said that huge public support for the project demonstrated people’s commitment to enhancing Scotland’s biodiversity.

Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life’s Executive Director, said: “On Biodiversity Day, people and organisations worldwide will be celebrating and conserving our pl anet’s wondrous but threatened biological diversity. Here in Scotland the imminent release of European beavers at Knapdale in Argyll is a major step forward in reversing our country's long history of biodiversity decline and loss.”

“Let's make this a turning point for conservation in Scotland, by each playing our part by restoring forests and other habitats, protecting wildlife and returning ecosystems to health and balance. Every individual can make a positive contribution to this."

Beavers play a valuable role in creating wetland and other habitats, encouraging a host of other wildlife, from frogs and dragonflies to otters and ospreys. They also help to purify water, prevent flooding and attract tourists, thereby boosting local economies.

The beaver was hunted to extinction in Scotland in the sixteenth century. More information about the Scottish Beaver Trial is available at

People can support Trees for Life’s work restoring the Caledonian Forest in the Scottish Highlands through specially-dedicated trees and Groves, and by planting trees during Conservation Volunteer Weeks.

For more information about Trees for Life call 0845 458 3506, email or visit

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