Beavers: Wetlands & Wildlife, an environmental nonprofit based in New York, recently presented an award to Paul and Louise Ramsay for their decade of work to restore beavers to Scotland. Owen and Sharon Brown, leaders of Beavers: Wetlands & Wildlife (BWW), traveled to Scotland and presented the award, which also made the Ramsays life members of BWW, at the September meeting of the Scottish Wild Beaver Group. In addition, the Browns told of their experiences running a beaver nonprofit and answered questions from the Scottish beaver advocates about lasting solutions to beaver/human conflicts.
Beavers had been extirpated from Scotland by the 16th century, but in recent decades environmentalists wanted to restore this keystone species.¬† In 2002 the Ramsays welcomed three beavers from Norway to Bamff, their 1300-acre estate near Dundee, Scotland. A few more Eurasian beavers arrived there later, including two from Bavaria in 2004, and the first kits were born in 2005. The Ramsays‚Äô two beaver colonies live on ponds in a huge fenced-in area, where many visitors have been able to watched them, including another local landowner who then brought beavers to his own estate.
The couple‚Äôs work in educating others about the species also includes Paul Ramsay‚Äôs ‚ÄúBeavers at Bamff‚ÄĚ blog. Louise Ramsay has been a spokesperson for ‚ÄúSave the Free Beavers of the Tay‚ÄĚ that has a Facebook page with over a thousand members. That campaign began after the Scottish authorities had a beaver escapee trapped in the area of the river Tay, and the trapping has now been stopped. Last year the Scottish government allowed a trial re-introduction of beavers to the wild.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† During the Brown‚Äôs three-day visit, Paul Ramsay took them on a tour of the beaver ponds at Bamff. One evening they were able to watch and photograph several European beavers from a hillside overlooking a largest pond. Beavers: Wetlands & Wildlife has been educating about beavers, and solving problems between beavers and people since 1986.