SWBG is absolutely delighted at Environment Minister, Roseanna Cunningham MSP’s decision to give legal protection and native status to beavers in Scotland. We would like to congratulate all our members and Social Media supporters and all the people who have campaigned so tirelessly for this historic outcome. The European beaver is the first mammal to be reintroduced to the UK after being driven to extinction on our island.

The part played by the Tay Beavers in this long and fascinating story is not to be underestimated. By developing responsible tourism and enabling hundreds of people to see the animals without disturbing them, the growing public support has helped to bring about this decision. Furthermore the beavers themselves should be congratulated on their tremendous success, spreading across a huge area from Tentsmuir to the Dochart in a remarkably short period of time.

The hard work of the Tayside Beaver Study Group and the beaver officers that carried out the monitoring was also a vital part of the story. This established the health and genetic credentials of the Tay Beavers beyond any doubt.

We have always agreed that there needs to be a well thought through approach to management, especially on some of the low-ground farms so we are happy that this has also been highlighted in the Minister’s statement.

We look forward to collaborating with our allies in the conservation world to develop more public information, educational and volunteering programmes to support the spread of this fantastic keystone species about Scotland.