SCOTTISH BEAVER TRIAL A “TREMENDOUS STEP FORWARD”


Trees for Life, the award-winning charity working to restore the Caledonian Forest in the Scottish Highlands, today welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to allow a trial reintroduction of European beavers to Mid-Argyll.


[UKPRwire, Tue Jun 03 2008] Trees for Life, the award-winning charity working to restore the Caledonian Forest in the Scottish Highlands, today welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to allow a trial reintroduction of European beavers to Mid-Argyll.

“To see beavers living wild in Scotland after an absence of over 400 years will be a tremendous step forward,” said Trees for Life's Founder and Executive Director, Alan Watson Featherstone.

“16 other European countries have successfully reintroduced beavers since 1920, so it’s excellent news that Scotland is catching up with this move to return one of our indigenous wildlife species.

“Alongside a restored Caledonian Forest, we want to see the eventual return of the large native mammals that have disappeared together with their forest habitat. They are all essential parts of a balanced, healthy forest ecosystem.”

The beaver was hunted to extinction in Scotland in the sixteenth century. The new project will see 15 to 20 beavers from Norway reintroduced in Knapdale, Mid-Argyll.

On 16 and 17 September 2008, Trees for Life and the Wildland Network will host a two-day conference entitled ‘Wild, Free and Coming Back?’ that will examine how to achieve further reintroductions of key species to Scotland. The event will feature presentations, discussions and debate, as well as workshops, a photographic exhibition and storytelling.

For more information call Trees for Life on 0845 458 3506, email trees@findhorn.org or visit www.treesforlife.org.uk.

Ends

Notes to editors
1. The decision by the Scottish Government follows a licence application for the trial submitted in December 2007 by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. The submission was made after a two-month long consultation revealed that more than 73% of respondents from Mid-Argyll supported the trial reintroduction.
2. Trees for Life is a pioneering charity in ecological restoration. It aims to restore the Caledonian Forest to an area of 1,500 square kilometres in the Highlands west of Inverness. Today only 1% of the original Caledonian Forest remains.
3. Since planting its first trees in 1991 in Glen Affric, Trees for Life has planted over 650,000 trees. It has won several awards for its conservation work, including UK Conservation Project of the Year in 1991.
4. Further information about the ‘Wild, Free and Coming Back?’ conference is available from Trees for Life at www.treesforlife.org.uk/forest/missing/reintroductions_conf.html
and from the Wildland Network at
www.wildland-network.org.uk/wn_events.htm#wildfreeandcomingback

Company: Trees for Life


Contact Name: Kerrigan Bell

Contact Email: trees@findhorn.org

Contact Phone: 01309 691292

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