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Hidden Beaver (and spider)

By hrsimages
I spent last week on a 'Rewilding Retreat' based in the Cairngorm Mountains which looked at various projects across Scotland to restore and re-generate more of the wild land habitat which used to support a much more vibrant and species rich landscape of floral and fauna. This was before the rise of sporting estates and overgrazing by deer and sheep which has contributed heavily to the loss of the major part of the Caledonian forest once covering all Scotland. Sadly, today only a few isolated fragments still remain. Scotland is renowned for its dramatic scenery and attracts photographers from all over the globe but it is well to remember that many of the award winning images of the Scottish landscape that we admire are actually depicting a highly degraded landscape with glens and hillsides often totally bereft of tree cover and containing a tiny fraction of the plant and animal species which once thrived there. Re-wilding in Scotland is about creating the right conditions and acceptance of communities so that some missing or lost species can once again return to the highlands and glens.
One recent and successful species re-introduction to Scotland has been the beaver. Numerous studies have shown that the work of beavers, which were once prevalent throughout the UK but hunted to extinction, are beneficial to the landscape and actually create more healthy woodlands and wetlands as well as mitigating the worst effects of flooding .
I was very excited to see and photograph my first beaver in the UK at a location in Tayside where we saw what these reclusive creatures are capable of creating given a suitable habitat and protection from persecution which they now happily enjoy.
Only after taking this photo of the beaver, which was initially quite hard to spot under the shade of a large rhododendron bush sheltering its lodge, did I notice the spider suspended on its web above the beaver's head!
I've included a few shots of the beaver's habitat to show the location, where more than 20 pools and dams have been built on what was previously a small drainage stream. This has created a large area in which other animal and plant species can multiply and thrive. It is quite amazing what nature is capable of when left to its own devices.

Tags: Scotland Beaver Wildlife and nature Tayside rewilding Bamff estate Species reintroduction

Voters: NevJB, newbe2, Les_Cornwell and 13 more


15 Jun 2019 3:02PM
Oh you lucky man - I am envious GrinGrinGrinGrin

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The work of a dedicated environmentalist. Well done.
Barry NZ

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