One of the beavers taking its first steps into its new home at Argaty Red Kites © Lynn Bowser

Further beaver releases at Argaty beaver project

Earlier this month Argaty Red Kites, near Doune, was pleased to welcome a further beaver family onto their working farm.

The family of six were released as part of Argaty’s continued mission to make the farm a home for nature while producing food in an environmentally sensitive manner.

They join the beaver families previously released at Argaty who have made a significant positive impact at other sites on the farm. The beavers’ channel-digging activities prevented a pond from drying up during a very dry summer, benefiting local amphibian, fish, and bird populations that would have otherwise struggled. Additionally, their damming efforts protected farm buildings from flooding during winter storms.

Tom Bowser, Owner of Argaty Red Kites, said: “We are thrilled to welcome this latest beaver family to Argaty. In the vast majority of circumstances beavers and farmers can co-exist happily and these animals are already bringing amazing benefits to our farm,
boosting biodiversity and saving us from flood damage in wet winters. We hope this will be another small step in establishing translocations as a standard part of the beaver mitigation toolkit and are grateful to everyone involved for making this relocation such a smooth process.”

Under licence and direction from NatureScot, Beaver Trust trapped and removed beavers from a site where they were causing conflict. The Trust worked with a local gamekeeper, who helped monitor the beaver family and provided information about their movements to inform the Trust’s trapping efforts and ensure the family was trapped and translocated together.

The family were initially taken to dedicated holding facilities at Five Sisters Zoo where they were looked after until all members passed their health screening procedures to ensure they were fit and healthy for release at Argaty.

Dr Roisin Campbell-Palmer, Head of Restoration at Beaver Trust, said: “It’s deeply satisfying to release this family at Argaty today. The translocation of this family has been smooth and successful thanks to the engagement and efforts of the landowner, local
gamekeeper, NatureScot, Five Sisters Zoo, and Argaty at each stage of the process.

Beavers can be a vital ally in the fight against biodiversity loss, and translocations are an important tool for allowing Scotland to expand its beaver population while sensitively managing impacts on farmland.”

One of the beavers enjoying exploring the pond after being released at Argaty Red Kites © Lynn Bowser

Gary Curran, Head Carnivore Keeper at Five Sisters Zoo, said: “We are delighted that Five Sisters Zoo was able to play an important role in bringing more beavers to Argaty and we can’t wait to see the beavers thrive in their new home.”

Jenny Bryce, NatureScot’s beaver team manager, said: “We’re pleased to be able to support this latest release of a family of beavers at Argaty. Projects like this allow beavers to be trapped and removed from locations where they’re causing issues and released in low conflict areas and is a great example of partnership working for the benefit of people and nature.

“As we’re now in the kit dependency period these were the final releases under licence this season. However, we’re seeking potential low conflict sites for autumn releases and want to hear from land managers like Tom who are willing to host beavers, particularly in Tayside, the Forth catchment, Loch Lomond and Knapdale, where beavers are already well-established. Anyone interested in potentially hosting beavers on their land can contact us by emailing”

Argaty was the first private land owner to release beavers onto their land in 2021 and was only the second translocation site authorised in Scotland after the official trial site in Knapdale, Argyll.

Beavers are essential for maintaining healthy and resilient freshwater ecosystems as their wetlands have been scientifically proven to create habitats which innumerable species of plants, fungi, fish, invertebrates, amphibians, and mammals use for food, shelter and reproduction. Their activities have also been shown to help reduce flooding, increase water retention during drought, improve water quality, and even potentially limit the spread of wildfire.

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