Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Here and there

Yesterday evening I visited the Dean Water at Cardean and found that a mysterious person is still putting apples and carrots out round the beavers' lodge there.

Frank Rosell, the well-known and respected Norwegian authority on the biology of the Eurasian beaver, tells me that although single beavers may build lodges, it is more usual for them to live in simple burrows and lairs, and that it is more normal for lodge building to be undertaken by pairs of beavers before breeding.

If Tony Mitchell-Jones is correct in his account of the legal status of the beaver in England, and this applies in Scotland as well, it is good to think that someone may be nurturing a family of beavers that has established itself in the wild.

The account of the legal status that I am referring to is to be found in the report by Natural England and the People's Trust for Endangered Species on the feasibility of returning the beaver to England.

This photograph shows a grazed area on the bank of the ditch at Bamff. In the distance you can make out a birch tree that was felled last winter and stripped of all its branches and bark. The topmost part of the tree fell over a fence, so this part was cut off and some of the bigger bits of timber removed for firewood. Otherwise everything was thrown back into the beavers' side of the fence and they tidied it all up.

The next photo shows a mudslide that I came across this morning. I call it a mudslide, but I must go and look at it again.

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