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Thank you so much to everyone who signed the Trees for Life petition asking for beavers to be relocated rather than killed in areas of conflict. Many of the licences issued by NatureScot are to famers on the Isla, which is the river that the Ericht runs in to. When the two year old beavers from our little family on the Ericht leave the lodge to look for their own territories, it is very likely that they will run the gauntlet of these farms on the Isla on their way to the Tay. With 16,679 signatures, it was the most supported petition to the Scottish government in many years, showing how strong support is for these amazing animals. The petition was heard in the Scottish Parliament Petitions Committee on October 1st and they agreed the case for #movedontkill deserves further consideration by the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee. I’ll let you know about any further updates as soon as I hear any news.

Thanks also to everyone who helped out with Lisa’s Masters dissertation on the economic impact of beavers to Perthshire. I haven’t received a copy of the dissertation yet but I know she passed so congratulations to Lisa!

And many thanks to everyone who was happy to extend their 2020 bookings into next year. This made a real difference to the business and helped to keep it going. The canoe safaris were especially hard hit  – we weren’t able to run any at all this summer – so I imagine we are going to be busy on the water next year (which will be fantastic!), all going well.

The beaver tours were featured on Landward this month – and BBC Scotland wrongly said that we were the only Beaver Tour Operators in Scotland. They have since apologised to other operators, which include Heart of Argyll Wildlife in Knapdale and our friends at Bamff Ecotourism. Due to sound equipment malfunction we were too late to the river that morning to see more than one beaver quickly returning to the lodge to sleep. Fortunately they were able to use some of my video footage from the summer to show them in action, including superstar Dad beaver and a yearling chasing off an otter at the lodge.

I could go on about beavers for a long time so will stop there! I wasn’t able to run the outreach side of the Crieff and Forfar Swift Conservation Projects this summer but hope to continue those next year. Our Celtica Wildflowers Meadow and Pond starter packs have gone off to all corners of Scotland this year as people spend more time improving their gardens for wildlife. We have a special autumn offer of 5% off orders over £300.

Although we are back under a five mile travel restriction, we are hopeful that our tours, which have received Good to Go certification and have been well risk assessed, will welcome you back next spring. We have received many wonderful reviews on Trip Advisor and are pleased to see that people have felt very safe throughout their tours. We have Gift Up vouchers available on the website if you would like to give an experience for Christmas and help support us as a microbusiness.

Keep safe, enjoy the nature close to home and I hope to see you soon. Daniele