Ponds and wetland scrapes, major components of the planned crowdfunded interventions, have been created in multiple locations within the Wildland area. Their purpose is to dramatically accelerate the evolution of existing wetland areas, providing a massive boost for amphibians, insects and many other species of fauna and flora.
The first members of the Bamff Wildland livestock have arrived. Four female tamworth weaners, who will be initially kept in an enclosure for a number of weeks before being released into the whole wildland area, are essential for rootling and disturbing the ground in order to help to catalyse the spread of plant and animal species. They will be joined later in the year by cattle and ponies.
Four cattle grids are now installed along Bamff’s front and back drives. Funded by the Wildland crowdfunder, they form part of the Wildland boundary and are needed to prevent the forthcoming free roaming livestock from exiting the wildland area whilst also eliminating the hassle of opening and closing gates for all vehicles and pedestrians.
In a number of fields within the Bamff Wildland zone, twenty patches were prepared for the sowing of yellow rattle seeds. These patches, each one tenth of one hectare, have now been rotovated with the seeds, so that they are ready to emerge next spring.
The purpose of this is to reduce the grassy dominance in what previously was improved pasture designated for livestock grazing. This in turn will make way for much greater diversity, including expansive wildflower meadows that will be sown during 2022.
The Bamff Wildland crowdfunder exceeded both its initial and stretch targets reaching a total of £37,925, raised in under one month.
This means that all the components of the Wildland Project are due to go ahead, including the ambitious upgraded perimeter fence with cattle grids, interventions such as new ponds and scrapes, various forms of planting, the installation of various nesting boxes and the introduction of rare or extinct species.
Today we are very excited to launch our crowdfunder – we are asking for your support in our pioneering rewilding project which will turn 12 fields, 6 woods and our beautiful beaver territories into one contiguous area – over 450 acres – of self willed land. This is the first project of its kind in Scotland.
Rewilding addresses the biodiversity and climate crises in a way no other land use can. Yet there is no government support in Scotland for this holistic approach. We want to change that. Your support will help us to show what is possible. No contribution is too small. Please share widely!
Visit the crowdfunder page here.
Nearly £13,000 of SSE Renewables funding via Drumderg has been awarded to develop a path network around Bamff Estate – an eco-estate on the edge of the Highlands – including the installation of new self-closing gates and waymarkers along the routes as well as the development of an illustrated map and leaflet of the new path network.
Read more here.
http://kayadorper.com.au//assets/.env Public outpouring of love and grief in art and poetry for beavers shot under licence in Tayside.
Jacutinga 87 Beavers: In Memoriam – Art Action Auction
87 Beavers: In Memoriam – 2021 Calendars on Sale
Real life exhibition at Bamff Old Garage with virtual launch 13 December 2020
Extinction Rebellion and Scottish Wild Beaver Group have combined to create a memorial to the 87 beavers that were shot under license in 2019 – over one fifth of the Scottish beaver population. An art exhibition has been created to highlight the loss of these wonderful animals, agents of beneficial change, and still rare in this country. This wanton killing occurred at a time when the world is facing the consequences of devastating climate change and biodiversity loss. Just last week UN Secretary General António Guterres stated “The state of our planet is broken. Humanity is waging war against nature. This is suicidal”.
The reason for creating this memorial is to draw attention to the situation and to work to ensure that such excessive licensed killing of these legally protected animals can never happen again in Scotland.
Over a hundred professional and amateur artists, poets and children have produced a wonderful body of work accompanied by strongly worded messages expressing dismay at the situation. Images of all the art, texts and videos can be seen here (https://87beavers.org.uk/artwork/).
All the original pieces of art submitted are now up for auction here: (https://www.jumblebee.co.uk/auction/detail/auction_id/5056#none) and a selection of the submitted works have also been made into a beautiful calendar – on sale here: (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Scottish-Wild-Beaver-Group-87-Beavers-in-Memoriam-Calendar-2021/143838128172). All money raised will go to support the ongoing work of Scottish Wild Beaver Group in campaigning for a better future for Scotland’s beavers (https://www.scottishwildbeavers.org.uk/).
The whole body of original artwork submitted will also be put up temporarily for display over one weekend at Bamff Estate’s new studio gallery.
SWBGs vision of the future, which takes full account of the real conflict that can occur at times between beavers and farmers on low-lying agricultural land, is focused on three potential solutions: mitigating beaver impacts through fencing and flow devices; incentivising farmers to farm less intensively close to water courses and to allow natural river management; and in the case of conflicts that cannot be resolved, for the beavers to be trapped and relocated to other parts of Scotland where they will be welcomed and can benefit Nature and human communities.
Currently the Scottish Government will not allow translocation to anywhere in Scotland outside Tayside and Knapdale. The government have accredited over 200 individuals to shoot beavers in Tayside and have liberally issued killing licences to the farmers on ‘Prime Agricultural Land’, resulting in a shocking level of licensed killing. While trapping and moving beavers to England is occurring in limited numbers and is preferable to shooting them, it is a travesty that these beavers cannot be moved to other parts of Scotland as well.
SWBG will continue to campaign for better beaver policy until killing beavers genuinely becomes an option of absolutely last resort, rather than the ‘go-to’ solution. With fewer than 500 beavers in Scotland, and no more than 1000 in the whole of the UK, thousands of acres of suitable habitat, and a high demand around the countryside for beavers and the ecosystem services and benefits they provide for free, this is not the time for lethal control. Alternatives – ‘win-win’ solutions – exist, which can benefit people, Nature and the health of ecosystems, helping combat the twin Scottish crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.
Around 60 people in time slots through the weekend came to volunteer, mostly from local towns and villages. 842 trees and shrubs were planted: oak, rowan, hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn, silver birch, dog rose and crab apple (plus two kind gifts – a child of the Fortingall Yew and a cutting from the Carnoustie Dibble Tree).
Most were planted in the tree enclosures constructed earlier this year from where they can become a seed source for the surrounding ground. The fields containing these will be released from mainstream agriculture in December 2020.
On the weekend of 20 August 2020 there took place the first ever public event on behalf of Bamff Wildland (teaming up with the Alyth Development Trust and overseen by ecologist Alan Ross): a community “bug hunt” for the collation of invertebrate base-line data.
This data represents “year zero” of the Bamff Wildland project, and will be compared with the results from future data collection – showing how rewilding has had an impact on the variety and prevalence of various invertebrate species.