Lochwinnoch Beaver Project
Eadha Enterprises is promoting the Lochwinnoch area as a possible release site for beavers through the Lochwinnoch Beaver Project on the basis that the current Scottish Beaver Trial (SBT) being managed at Knapdale in Mid Argyll by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) is successful and that a future national reintroduction is likely. Expert opinion suggests that the Lochwinnoch region might be a good site for beavers. This sits nicely with our aspen project as of course aspen is the beaver's favourite tree.
The European Beaver (Castor fiber) is a species which was once distributed throughout mainland Britain. It was hunted to extinction in the middle Ages for its fur, meat, and scent glands. This process of extermination was repeated throughout its wider European range in historic times. Beavers are keystone engineers of wetland environments and as realisation has grown of the benefits of their presence they have been widely reintroduced in other European countries (25 to date). Extensive studies indicate that beaver generated landscapes are good for bio-diversity, water purification, amelioration of diffuse pollution, water retention and flood prevention. Beavers are a popular species with the general public and several reintroductions have been specifically designed to emphasise the role of the species as a regenerator of biodiversity in post industrial landscapes.
Eadha Enterprises was instrumental in setting up the Lochwinnoch Beaver Steering Group comprising a cross-section of local stakeholders to investigate the potential benefits and risks of beaver reintroduction. Eadha Enterprises is promoting the concept of beavers through local education campaigns as well as identifying sites to deliver habitat creation and improvement projects as pre-emptive action in advance of any reintroduction. This includes creating new aspen riparian woodlands which will protect farmland and river bank levees. The RSPB is developing a Futurescapes project for the Lochwinnoch area and the River Garnock and it is hoped that some of these projects will be delivered as part of this initiative.
You can download the full Report on the Lochwinnoch Beaver Project by clicking on the link below: