Beavers and Licensing

The beaver is a European protected species, fully protected under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended). This protection also extends to lodges and burrows used for breeding and can apply to dams. Find out about the beaver as a protected species.

Our Management Framework includes guidance for people who may work in areas where beavers may be present and on what may constitute an offence or require a licence. If you are uncertain then contact the licensing team for advice.

Latest update (as at October 2022)

In November 2021 the Scottish Government announced a shift in policy to allow beavers to be moved to new release sites in Scotland. In support of this policy, NatureScot has updated the comprehensive Environmental Report carried out in 2017 for Tayside and Knapdale to reflect this shift and to include what we have since learned about beavers, their effects and mitigation measures.

Alongside this we are carrying out assessments of the environmental effects of beaver translocation into new catchment areas. We have now produced the first of these assessments for the River Leven (Loch Lomond) and River Forth catchments, and we are inviting comment on both this document and the update to the 2017 Environmental Report.

The consultation runs from 10 October to 18 November, and comments received will feed into the final documents, which will help us assess licence applications for the release of beavers in these areas.


Licensing Team
Telephone: 01463 725 364
Email: [email protected]

Find out more

All documents relating to beavers

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