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Great news on two fronts! Firstly, NatureScot has granted licences to the Cairngorms National Park to release six families of beavers in the upper River Spey catchment. That’s obviously good with regards to the positive environmental changes the beavers will make – processes that are well studied and understood. But it is also good news for the beavers in Perthshire on the Rivers Ericht, Isla and Tay, where they are still being killed in fairly high numbers. Albeit under licence. So families in the same river catchment – and possibly quite close to where we enjoy watching the beavers – will be trapped and relocated. It’s actually very likely that some of the kits we have watched over the past few years, and certainly a few descendants of our wonderful beaver family, will end up in the Cairngorms.

Here’s a beautiful wee beaver kit, taken by Kevin Tapenden on a Beaver Canoe Safari on the River Tay a few years ago. Hopefully it found a good, safe home when the time came for it to move on to find its own territory.

Beaver kit swimming on the River Tay, taken on Beaver Canoe Safari

The other good news is that Perthshire Wildlife has turned 10 this year so happy birthday to us! When starting out in May 2013, I was still working part time as a Countryside Ranger and my main aim was to deliver conservation projects, with the Carse of Gowrie Swift Conservation project being the first.

I ran a few guided walks too and the beaver safaris were especially popular. Now we have a team of four fantastic wildlife guides, namely Jean, Joan, Anna & myself to run the beaver tours, we run Swift, Ponds, Schools, Amphibian and other conservation projects, as well as growing native wildflowers.
So to celebrate this (it is quite exciting!) we are going to run a competition via social media – see the Twitter & Facebook links at the top of the page to enter. We are on Instagram as well. To enter our competition to win a Beaver Safari for 2 on the 13th of April, like and share the relevant post on social media and let us know on the post (in under 50 words) why you would like to join us on a tour to visit beaver habitat and hopefully see the wonderful creatures themselves!  You have until Sunday the 10th of December to enter, then Rosie the (occasional) intern will use her wonderful judging abilities to pick the winner. Good luck!
Thanks for reading, Daniele