Sunday, July 6, 2014

Thoughts - Beavers

Cute aren't they?  taken from this newspaper article
George Monbiot arguing for the re-introduction of beavers to the British Isles.  Tap on one link and a whole river of links appear with various streams filtering in. I started this train of thought yesterday and it never quite materialised into a blog, basically I was unsure of my response to re-introduction of this creature.  The moors of this country would seem a fairly  ideal habitat, though trees are of course not to be found except in the valleys of the rivers.  How much of our thought is dictated by the literature we read, Wind in the Willows comes to mind. a vision of wild animals tamed into human form.  A sentimental version of the country returning to a form of 'wilderness' when as in this link, we find The Angling Trust, through the official office of DEFRA threatening to shoot the beavers should they make their appearance on the valuable fishing banks of our rivers.  By now if you  have understood  my nature,  I regard the fishermen as being the ones in the firing line.
This little video of beavers being introduced into a securely fenced area is charming, but we can see that they are not exactly tidy, and slightly destructive which of course is their nature but as Monbiot would argue would  enhance their environment with their great nests of twigs and logs providing a safety catch for all the other river life.  But humans are tidy the other half of my brain explains, how is the farmer when his cows come to drink at the waterside going to react.  Scotland of course seems the ideal place to start the experiment, its lonely wilderness encapsulates both water and trees.

What I wish for of course is that this creature who became extinct in this country 500 years ago, would indeed make an appearance and for all those humans who see animals as second rate  learn to respect them and see them as equal but that is just a wish not a reality. So in a world that has clasped capitalism to its bosom, and sees the destruction of birds of prey as the 'right decision' to protect the rich shooting fraternity, I fear the surreptitious killing of these furry harmless creatures is how the future will unfold...... 


  1. Interesting post Thelma, and lots of food for thought. We had otters on our beck many years ago I understand (the farmer doesn't remember them but his father did) and they seem to have been driven out by wild mink (I ask myself where did they come from and conclude that probably humans 'let' them escape, Yes, I agree they make a 'mess' - if one considers piles of wood and brash a 'mess', but pheasant breeders (for expensive shoots in Winter) leave piles of brash for pheasant cover. And, if you had seen the mess left behind yesterday by spectators of the Tour de France, you would conclude that humans are the worst of all mess-makers. I don't know what to think, but as I said at the start - food for thought, and they seem to me to be delightful creatures in the wilderness areas where they thrive. But no doubt, if they were here, they would be persecuted. Thanks for this post.

  2. Hi Pat, yes it is a difficult one, we are in the end quite a small country with too many people around. But otters seem to be taking a hold in our rivers quite well without too much persecution so perhaps there is a place for the beavers as well. Totally agree humans are the messiest creatures on this planet!

  3. I'm for them but, if they were introduced here, I might think differently!

  4. Well they are not too far away in the river Otter, see they made Channel 4 news this evening the three there, although Defra are threatening to move them.