Beaver

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Place Category: Nature and Our Species

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  • The Heart of Argyll is the official home of the Scottish Beaver Trial.

    Once a common sight in Scotland, Eurasian beavers were hunted to extinction in the UK in the 16th Century, but have now been reintroduced to several places in Scotland including Knapdale Forest in Argyll.

    Eurasian beavers typically weigh between 16-30kg, grow up to a metre in body length, and live for up to 15 years. They are stocky animals uniquely adapted for a semi-aquatic lifestyle, with a waterproof coat of dense brown fur; a large, flattened and scaly tail; and webbed hind feet which they use to propel themselves through the water.

    Beavers are completely vegetarian, feeding on aquatic plants, grasses and shrubs during the summer months and woody plants in winter. Beavers will often store food underwater so that they can access it if the water freezes over. In woodlands, beavers help to stimulate new growth by gnawing on tree stems and coppicing. This helps to breathe new life into tired forests and creates a diverse age range of trees which greatly benefits woodland management.

    To find out more about the Scottish Beaver Trial in Knapdale, click here.

    To find out more about visiting Knapdale, click here.

    To watch videos of beavers at Knapdale, click here.

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