Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Beavers along the Dean Water where it flows under the A90 near Forfar Loch.

I forget when word reached us that some poplars by the Dean Water, where that stream flows under the A90, were thought to be in danger of being felled onto that road by beavers. 

Nobody seemed to know whose land the trees were on and so no one was sure whose responsibility it was to do something about the trees.

So nobody did anything about the poplars until BEAR decided to fell such trees as might fall over the A90 if felled by the beavers.

As everyone knows the poplar genus is the beaver's favourite.

We approached the place of the poplars by way of the Forfar Loch (where we saw fresh evidence of the presence of beavers: cut willows that will coppice in the spring). This photograph shows the Dean Water as it flows out of the Loch. 

Originally, the Forfar Loch stretched as far as Glamis (only a few miles downstream), but draining for agriculture started, I think, in the seventeenth century. The Dean Water was canalised and deepened to drain the loch. The soils are fertile, but very prone to flooding.

We crossed the A90

and approached the clump of poplars and alders. 

It wasn't long before we saw trees that the beavers had felled.

Most, if not all the trees had been numbered, though why this willow had been treated in this way I do not know.

A Bavarian beaver trap had been set as part of the Tay Beaver Study Group's monitoring programme and a trail camera had been placed by the tree behind it, as you can see in the next photo.

Looking down the Dean Water.

This is one of those charming, forgotten fragments of land that, as it seems, belongs to nobody.

Here you can see signs of beaver burrows. Much of the digging must have been done to escape from flood waters through the winter. There is also a handsome food cache in the water.

These poplars were the ones nearest to the road. You can see a lorry on the sky line. 

It seems to me that all these trees could be protected with rabbit netting fixed round the base of the trunk , pinned down at the bottom and supported by a couple of rebars. 

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