Resistance and Rewilding: The Return of Beavers to Knapdale Forest



This story follows the work of the “Scottish Beaver Trial,” a five-year project that sought to restore beaver populations in Scotland. The trial began in 2009, when three families of beavers were released in Knapdale Forest in the hope that they would make it their new home. After a challenging start the beavers managed to thrive in their new environments, transforming the landscape and increasing biodiversity. Two years after the trial concluded, the beavers were awarded “native species” status, ensuring their continued protection. The trial demonstrates the potential of rewilding projects to offer hope in an era of environmental instability.

Author Biography

Rosamund Portus, University of York, UK

Rosamund Portus is a Doctoral Researcher based at the University of York. She is part of the WRoCAH funded Extinction Network, specialising in the study of bees, extinction and environmental change. Much of her work focuses around humans’ relationships with non-humans during the Anthropocene. Rosamund’s other research interests concern the connections between children and nature in the contemporary world.