An exciting conference hosted by the Scottish Wild Beaver Group was 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 http://scottishwildbeavers.org/scottish-beaver-conference-the-necessary-beaver/.
The Co-op’s Rosemount Farms Open Day
8th June 2014
The SWBG had a stand which was busy. We were in a poly-tunnel which was a blessing as we had a few downpours with thunder and lightening added! We had over 30 entries to the colouring in Kiddies Competition which we added to our display. We enjoyed meeting lots of people who were very interested in the Keystone species Beaver. Hopefully we will have also added some new supporters to our cause.
International Beaver Day!
7th April 2014
Paul and Louise Ramsay from Bamff Estate in Alyth organised a wonderful evening to celebrate International Beaver Day. Some of the visitors had travelled from Aberdeen and Cumbernauld. There were around 20 of us, so we were split into two groups and taken to different parts of the estate to see all the work done by the Beavers and hopefully to also see them. We were not disappointed. Both groups saw Beavers and one group saw a Water Vole! We also heard frogs and toads and many different species of birds all of which benefit from the Beavers and the work that they do. We then returned to Bamff House for some refreshments and a discussion about the Beavers. An excellent evening was enjoyed by all.
Some of the visitors that attended the International Beaver Day event.
09th March 2014 Talk to Stormontfield
A Sunday afternoon and Bob Smith and Rhona Forrester did a beaver presentation in Stormontfield. We received a very warm welcome. There were 25/30 in attendance, which included adults and children. A very enjoyable afternoon with lots of interesting questions from the audience. The children all went home with a Beaver Believer Sticker, a post card and a little beaver leaflet.
16th October St Andrews University Wildlife Society
A dark and rain swept evening saw me park my car in North Street, St Andrews and, crossing the street, start to look about for the St Andrews Wildlife Society’s reception committee. We had agreed to meet by the main entrance to St Salvator’s College. I looked through the pend that leads into the Quadrangle of St Salvator’s and read again the plaque that commemorates Patrick Hamilton, a student of St Andrew’s, who met a martyr’s death, being burnt at the stake in 1528, in the early years of the Reformation in Scotland. An inauspicious beginning to the evening, I thought.
Walking along the pavement a little, I saw the twinkling lights of a pair of head torches and a bicycle or, as it turned out, a pair of bicycles. The riders were my welcoming committee, Izzie Tween, a third year ecology student who came to Bamff to do field work for her Final Year dissertation, and Bryony a student at Oban High, who was visiting St Andrews to see if she would like to go to that University. Suddenly, a rain soaked paper bag burst and a couple of parcels dropped onto the ground. How lucky they did not shatter! One was a bottle of wine and the other a jar of marmalade. We picked these up and made our way to the lecture theatre no. 2.
It was immediately clear that the lecture theatre was extremely well equipped. It was just a case of connecting my computer, switching on and waiting for the machine to boot. In due course the swimming beaver of the first slide appeared on screen and we were ready to go.
By this time a small gathering of mainly young people had assembled though, as is the way of things, a little further away from the front than I should have preferred. Izott suggested to them that they move to the front. They obliged and sat silently in a tight phalanx facing me. Earlier mild unease was replaced by feelings of intimidation, but there was nothing for it but to begin.
Where should I begin? All my preparations seemed to be as nought. I should have begun with the history of beavers, but no, I had decided to start with biology and continue with a historical perspective. I talked. I rambled, I went off at tangents. I made a few jokes. Why this, why that?
“How long have I spoken for?” I asked.
” It is eight o’clock,” said Miss Tween.
“Oh my God! An hour.” I recovered myself. “Well, we’re very near the end,” I reflected. At the back a young man yawned.
“I had better just finish,” I said.
So I did.
“Any questions,” I asked. There were a couple. The audience applauded warmly. The people stood up and left, except for the secretary of the society and a friend, and Izzie Tween, who helped disconnect the equipment.
We walked out into the rainy dark and made our farewells.
The truth was that the talk had not gone on for much too long, but I had tried to squash too much in to the time allowed (45 minutes): too many slides and too many subjects. Note to myself: keep it simple.
SWBG meeting was held at Dunkeld. Minutes are available by clicking link
We arrived in Kirkcaldy and were greeted warmly by Kate and the other organisers of the Kirkcaldy Photographic Society. Paul and I split the talk between us. I spoke briefly about beavers in history, in Scotland and in particular in Tayside, (including Bamff), and gave a short summary of the campaign, illustrated by maps, documents and photographs mainly by Ray Scott and Rhona Forrester. (Thanks Rhona, I hope you don’t mind, but I helped myself from Facebook!) Paul followed up with another short (excellent) illustrated talk about beaver biology and ecology, in which he included some interesting footage taken by night camera of beavers repairing dams and cutting down trees. The members then asked some very relevant questions. Where had the Tay beavers come from? Where was it best to go to take photographs? Was there much conflict with farmers and others? The audience were enthusiastic about the presence of beavers in Tayside and many were keen to get a chance to photograph them.
I then had to the good fortune to see some of their work, which was outstanding, covering a wide range of subject matter from sand dunes to sport and styles varying from the photojournalistic to the abstract. There were some great wildlife shots as well. It was a good evening all round.
We are grateful to Kirkcaldy Photographic society for a generous donation to SWBG.
Louise and Paul Ramsay
9TH SEPTEMBER PERTH GUIDES 2013
On the 9th of September, SWBG trustees Rhona Forrester and Bob Smith gave a presentation to Perth Guides at North Church in Perth. As you can see the girls enjoyed the evening. Beaver quizzes were completed with aplomb and hopefully the girls learned not only about the beaver but a wee bit more about the wildlife on their own doorstep.
8TH SEPTEMBER BLAIRGOWRIE HIGHLAND GAMES
SWBG ran a stall at the Blairgowrie Highland Games on the 8th of September. Members and trustees were present and assisted throughout the day. A raffle was held and we managed to raise £180.83 on the day less expenses which came to an amazing £150.83. Many thanks to Bamff estate and Inveralmond Brewery for the wonderful prizes donated. Pictured below are helpers in the morning….Jean Oudney
Our marquee was shared by Perthshire Wildlife representative Daniele Muir.
Beaver Art Competition winners http://www.blairgowrieadvertiser.co.uk/blairgowrie-news/local-news-blairgowrie/2013/06/28/rattray-primary-school-beaver-competition-winners-113960-33524938/
School Visits: Our education team is continuing a very successful run of school visits and so far have been along to
- Glamis, Meigle, Coupar Angus, Rattray, Dunkeld, Goodlyburn and Strathmore PS Forfar. We will be speaking to Whitehills PS Forfar on 13th June and have lined up visits to, Kinloch Rannoch, Glen Lyon and Pitlochry. We also have a visit to Dunbarney after the school holidays.
- We have a community visit to Kirkmichael on 5th June.
The Scottish Wild Beaver Group’s Stand at ‘The Weekend’ in Blairgowrie on 1st June was a huge success. Thank you to everyone who showed an interest.
March 20th 2013.
We now have a phone number for our beaver advice and help service. This includes a free volunteer tree wrapping service for any farmer or gardener who has a valued tree close to a waterway with beavers. We can wrap your tree in wire netting for you in such a way that it will protect the tree from beaver activity, but not harm the tree.
For Advice and Help – Phone 07919112270.
Our Education Team has recently given talks in several of the local primary schools: Glamis, Meigle, Dunkeld, Rattray, Coupar Angus and Goodlyburn. The children and teachers alike have been very enthusiastic to learn more about beavers in general, and the Tay beavers in particular.
One of our members in preparing a beaver talk in Gaelic for P1 of the Breadalbane Gaelic medium school.
If any other school or community group would like a talk, please contact us. 01828 632992 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tayside Beaver Study Group
The Scottish Wild Beaver Group is delighted to be working with the Tayside Beaver Study Group, the body formed by the Scottish Government, and Chaired by SNH to study the Tayside beaver population. At the moment the group is undertaking a sampling programme to establish the health and genetic status of the population. Traps have been set with the agreement of landowners and any beavers caught will be re-released at the place of capture after blood samples have been taken. Some of the beavers will be taken to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland in Edinburgh for a more complex procedure that cannot be carried out in the field. They will be returned to the wild within the same day.
SWBG Education Programme.
SWBG has undertaken a popular programme of talks in schools.
BBC Autumnwatch covers the Tay Beavers.
The Blairgowrie beavers became TV stars on Wednesday 1st November when Bob Smith’s film was shown and beaver impacts around the catchment were discussed in a positive way and shown to the many viewers of the programme across the UK. We all feel that this is a turning point for the campaign. Thanks to all at Autumnwatch.
We are delighted to be working with the Tayside Beaver Study Group to monitor the Tay beavers and their impacts on the countryside.
16th March 2012
Scottish Wild Beaver Group and members of the campaign “Save the Free Beavers of the Tay” very much welcome the minister’s decision to leave the Tay beavers in the wild and monitor them until 2014. It is great to know, after sixteen months of campaigning, that these wonderful wetland engineers will be left alone by government to carry on living and breeding in the many waterways of the Tay catchment. We are grateful to campaigners from all over Tayside, Scotland, UK and the world for their passionate support throughout.
This is an important step and SWBG members look forward to co-operating with stakeholders in the future management of the beavers. Any problems can be dealt with by a range of mitigation techniques and SWBG can provide the necessary expertise as well as information on the biology and ecology of beavers . We would like to remind everyone that the many benefits of beavers, (biodiversity, flood mitigation, water purity) even measured in purely financial terms, greatly outweigh the cost of mitigation.
The Eurasian beaver, Castor fiber is protected under European law when established in the wild in its natural range .
We estimate that, after this breeding season, there will be over 150 individuals spread over hundreds of square miles.