Underlying Beauty

It's possible that a passer-by may look at the land and see nothing but a flooded area and a fallen tree.  One might even think it untidy, and that it could do with a bit of a clear-up.

The rather sad reality is that our landscape has been so bare for so long, that most people have no concept of how it once looked.  Of course, it doesn't help that ecology isn't taught in schools.

The lesson here is that the tidier the land, the more barren and unnatural it's likely to be.  The flooded area and felled tree have been created by beavers: a wetland buzzing with life.  The water attracts insects; the insects attract birds and bats; the rotting wood provides a habitat for a huge range and number of species, which attracts yet more species as a consequence.

Such is the impact of beavers relative to their abundance (i.e, only a few can make a huge difference) that they are known as a 'keystone' species.

Environment Minister, Aileen McLeod, stated on 23rd March 2016 that a decision on reintroducing beavers to Scotland would be made later in the year.  The biggest obstacle seems to be opposition from farmers with low-lying areas that are susceptible to flooding.