July 2015

Below is the short report of the conference which we submitted to the Environment Minister in June 2015.  The full length version will be published in due course.

The Necessary Beaver Report – submission to government June 2015

June 2015 Report: 

We have been working on a short report of the conference for submission to the government, and hope to publish a full version in the near future.  When we do, details will be published here and on the facebook page.

28/03/15: Feedback wanted:

Thank you so much to everyone that came to the conference yesterday, the speakers were fantastic – everyone enjoyed the interesting and very relevant information they shared with us and got a huge amount out of it.

We had included a feedback form in with the delegate pack and some people had filled it, in but we would like to give everyone another opportunity to leave feedback about the conference and to tell us what they think.

If you would like to do this, please download this form and email it to joudney@yahoo.co.uk 

Feedback Form

Update 26/03/2015

Here is the running order and times for the conference tomorrow : Conference timings

Directions are:

BY ROAD
Dunkeld is easily accessible by road – just off the A9 and is just over an hour’s drive from either Glasgow or Edinburgh and 15 minutes north of Perth. Ample free parking is available at the hotel.
BY RAIL
A few minutes drive from Dunkeld & Birnam Train Station with direct links to Glasgow, Edinburgh and
London.
BY AIR
Accessible from the major Scottish airports including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness
within 1 hour 30 minutes.

Further details are available from the Hilton website http://www.hiltondunkeld.com/

Looking forward to meeting you all!

Update 24/03/2015

BEAVER WALK ON SUNDAY

Bamff walk – the times have been slightly revised and will now be 1030 – 1230 –  please approach by the front drive (the entrance nearer Alyth) and go straight on when you see the house, parking in front of it.  Please bring your wellies!!!

CONFERENCE VENUE

We are delighted to announce that as interest in the conference has been so high, we have had to move the conference out of the main hotel into a large marquee in the grounds next to the river.  Its used for weddings so is a lovely place to be in, with its own toilets and heating – the buffet will still be in the main hotel.  Please walk along the front of the hotel with the river on your left and you will see the marquee in front of you just past the end of the hotel.

Update 11/03/2015

CONFERENCE TIMINGS.

A few folk have asked for the timings of the conference – registration is from 9 – 9.45am with refreshments and we hope to finish about 5pm.

There are quite a few people wanting to come on the guided walk around the beaver walks on Bamff Estate the day after the conference (see below for details) – please note we are asking for a donation of £5  to SWBG for anyone coming that is not also coming to the conference (half price for children).

STOP PRESS!!!

The Scottish Wild Beaver Group are delighted to announce that in addition to the distinguished list of speakers coming to Perthshire for the Scottish Beaver Conference at the end of March, a mitigation expert is flying over from the USA to show how to resolve any human/beaver conflict that may arise should the Scottish Government say “yes” to beavers later in the year.

Registrations are coming in fast and the closing date is 15th March so book now to avoid disappointment!

The Conference

An exciting conference hosted by the Scottish Wild Beaver Group will be held in the heart of Scotland on the 28th March 2015 exploring the history and ecology of the beaver, their role in biodiversity and wetland management and how they can help us in flood prevention and ecotourism.

2015 will be a landmark year for the Scottish wild beaver as following the five year Scottish Beaver Trial the Scottish Government will make its decision later in 2015 on the reintroduction of this iconic species which was hunted to extinction some 400 years ago. This is part of the Scottish Government’s obligation under the 1984 European Habitats Directive to look into the reintroduction of extinct native species where feasible.

We have a fantastic range of speakers who have kindly agreed to come and talk at our conference:

– Nick Dixon from the Scottish Crannog Centre will be talking about beavers in archaeology

– Victor Clements will be discussing the observations over the past four years of the impacts of the wild beavers on riparian woodland on the Upper Tay around Aberfeldy

– Nigel Wilby and Alan Law from Stirling University on the results of a two year study into the impacts of beavers that beavers have had on the biodiversity of Bamff Estate in Perthshire

– Pieter Noordanus from the Netherlands will show how the landowners, farmers and government worked out the “Ruimte voor de Rivier plan”. Beavers were reintroduced to the Netherlands in the late 1980’s and are a management factor in the “Room for the River Plan”, which is a huge flood management plan to safeguard the low lying ground of the Netherlands (some 4 million people) from flooding by various measures such as relocation of dykes to create larger flood plains, lowering the level of the floodplains to hold more water, temporary storage locations for times of high rainfall runoff and strengthening dykes in areas where it is not possible to create more room for the river.

– Sir Charles Burrell will talk about practical rewilding on his Knepp Estate in Sussex, which in 2001 moved away from traditional dairy and arable farming to less intensive quality meat production and became a pioneer in ecological land management, rewilding unproductive agricultural land into beneficial wildlife conservation areas.

– Bob Smith from the SWBG will show what economic benefits wild beavers have brought to East Perthshire as a tourist attraction with 77% of visitors coming to view the beavers from outside Scotland. He has also toured the local schools giving presentations on beavers which have encouraged children to appreciate and enjoy their local wildlife.

– Liz Halliwell is joining us from the Welsh Beaver Project who are investigating the feasibility of reintroducing beavers into Wales and are hoping to reintroduce beavers into a couple of sites in 2015.

– Uwe Stoneman, Tayside Reserves Manager for the RSPB who will talk about managing the RSPB Nature Reserve Loch of Kinnordy in the North East of Scotland which has a resident population of wild beavers.

– Peter Smith is an ecologist who founded the Wildwood Trust which was created to champion British wildlife education, re-introduction and practical “re-wilding”, including the use of beavers and wild horses to create semi wild habitats. He is also an avid campaigner in the area of the political economy of ecological restoration and will take us on a quick journey into the emerging world of environmental economics and ecosystem services– where many of the benefits go unrecognised and much of the cash costs cause fear and opposition to the return of wildlife.

– Mark Elliott from the Devon Wildlife Trust is a wetland ecologist who will provide an overview of the current situation with beavers in Devon, where the Devon Wildlife trust has been running a captive beaver Trial since 2010, and has currently a licence application pending for the first unfenced trail in England on the River Otter. He will also talk about their plans over the next 5 years to monitor the impacts of a wild living population in a lowland English river, and address any conflicts that arise.

– Sir John Lister-Kaye OBE from the Aigas Field Centre near Beauly will round off our day with his thoughts on the future of beavers in our modern world

The finale of the conference will be a panel question time for the questions on your mind!

Sunday 29th March 2015
By kind permission of Paul and Louise Ramsay, a guided walk will be arranged if sufficient interest around the beaver lodges and dams on their estate near Alyth in north eastern Perthshire which is around 16 miles from Dunkeld. Over the last 30 years the Ramsays have planted many acres of woodland, mostly of native species, and recreated many acres of wetland by the re-introduction of some European beavers, which are now breeding successfully in large enclosures. This project was the first of its kind in the UK. The beavers are helping to create a ribbon lake along the ditch that drains the flat ground around the house. Paul also keeps a herd of wild boars in the woods. Directions can be found on their website http://www.bamff.co.uk/

The walk is from 10.30 – 12.30 am – please approach by the front drive (the entrance nearer Alyth) and go straight on when you see the house, parking in front of it.

The Venue
The Dunkeld Hilton Hotel is our venue for the conference, which is a first class hotel in a stunning location on the banks of the River Tay in North Perthshire. For those who wish to stay overnight, the hotel can be contacted on 01350 728333 or through their website http://www.hiltondunkeld.com/

The hotel is just a short walk from the picturesque town of Dunkeld and directions are:
BY ROAD
Dunkeld is easily accessible by road – just off the A9 and is just over an hour’s drive from either Glasgow or Edinburgh and 15 minutes north of Perth. Ample free parking is available at the hotel.
BY RAIL
A few minutes drive from Dunkeld & Birnam Train Station with direct links to Glasgow, Edinburgh and
London.
BY AIR
Accessible from the major Scottish airports including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness
within 1 hour 30 minutes.

Conference cost
The cost of the conference is £35 per person, with a concession rate of £25 for students. This includes a two course buffet lunch in the Garden Restaurant and tea/coffees. 2015 Paid up members of SWBG also benefit from a discount of £25.00
The registration form can be downloaded here:

Scottish Beaver Conference 2015 registration form

If you can’t open the above link, here is the form in a format compatible with word 97-2003:

Scottish Beaver Conference 2015 registration form compatible with 97-2003

To pay by Cheque/Postal Order
Please send the above completed registration form with payment (made out to Scottish Wild Beaver Group) to:
Jean Oudney, Blair View, Blairgowrie House Road, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, PH10 6JP.

To pay by Paypal
Click here to pay for standard £35 conference fee
Click here to pay for student & SWBG members £25 conference fee

Then download the registration form and email the completed form to joudney@yahoo.co.uk.
It is very important to do this otherwise you will not be registered!!!
You will receive an email acknowledgement of your successful registration.

The closing date for registrations is Sunday 15th March 2015.

To join the Scottish Wild Beaver Group, you can pay £15.00 membership by Paypal here:

Click here to become a SWBG member

If you have any questions, please email joudney@yahoo.co.uk

Poster Poster jpeg