Planning for a future with beavers in Scotland

Members of the Geography department Dr. Josie Geris, Dr. Katya Dimitrova Petrova and Dr. Flurina Wartmann have taken part in the planning workshop for the Beaver Strategy in Scotland organised by NatureScot, to define what steps need to be taken to achieve the vision of maximising ecosystem and societal benefits while minimising negative impacts.

The three-day workshop involved a range of stakeholders to develop and agree strategic goals and actions that will help deliver the Beaver Strategy for Scotland in the next 10 years. Stakeholder engagement included representatives of farmers, foresters, individual affected landowners and businesses, to researchers.

Researchers from the Geography Department took part in the workshop group defining goals for future research. Dr. Josie Geris (Senior Lecturer in Hydrology) recently published a report reviewing the potential impact of beavers on rivers and streams in Scotland together with honorary research fellow Dr Katya Dimitrova Petrova (also Project Manager for CREW, Centre of Expertise for Waters). The two hydrologists highlighted the need for further hydrological research on larger scales to determine future benefits and negative impacts of beavers expanding into new areas. Dr. Flurina Wartmann (Lecturer in Geography and Environment) focused on the importance of including social science research on the societal impact of beavers on different stakeholders.

The workshop concluded with a draft strategic plan that will be further developed led by NatureScot.