Highlands & Islands

Bid to bring beavers to northwest Highlands

Beaver Image copyright Laurie Campbell

A conservation charity wants to reintroduce beavers to the northwest Highlands.

Findhorn-based Trees for Life said it has been working for more than 25 years on a plan to bring back the once native species to parts of Scotland.

In November last year, the Scottish government said beavers already reintroduced to Scotland could remain and would be given protected status.

These populations are found in Argyll and Tayside.

The government said the beavers would be allowed to extend their range naturally.

But Trees for Life said the Great Glen, a major geological fault line that features hills and mountains, formed a natural barrier that would prevent beavers from reaching the northwest Highlands.

It hopes to raise £15,000 to help it push ahead with its reintroduction plan, which includes identifying suitable sites for the animals and prepare a formal application for licence to release them.

Alan Watson Featherstone, the charity's founder, said: "Beavers were a key native species of the Caledonian Forest before being hunted to extinction some 400 years ago.

"We now have an unprecedented opportunity to bring them back."

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