Updated: Oct 9, 2020

Scottish Natural Heritage has rebranded but still insists on killing wildlife, including the 'protected' beaver.

What's in a name?

Well one would expect a government agency name to fulfil the potential of its' brand. NatureScot, formerly Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) a body that is supposed the promote and protect the environment and wildlife - is doing quite the reverse.

It was revealed this week that NatureScot has been holding training sessions for landowners on how to identify and kill beavers in Scotland, even directing them which calibre bullets and rifles to use and details of interesting bits of the creatures' anatomy to aim at.

A presentation, which was leaked to The Ferret, showed the grim business of hunting and trapping these animals, finishing on a high note that displayed two children holding up a bloodied beaver corpse.

How wonderful that an agency, for which I presume we all contribute our taxes to maintain, is actively trying to kill off a species that has only recently been added to the 'protected' list.

The beaver, you understand, was brought back from its' former extinction in Scotland about 400 years ago. There might be a couple of hundred in all.

And now landowners are being given licences to start obliterating them - again.

And they are being taught how, by the very agency tasked with their protection.

NatureScot calls this a 'shared approach', which is basically bowing to landowner pressures by killing off species that might encroach on their property. However in this 'shared approach' I do not recall being consulted.

I don't know about you, but isn't it about time that NatureScot just gave up the pretence and admitted to its' role in the demise of many of Scotland's species?

Why not drop them a line with your thoughts? (NatureScot - Contact)

NatureScot continues to disappoint as do other agencies such as Forestry and Land Scotland. It is without a doubt that the many environmental issues that plague Scotland will only continue to deteriorate without major changes in the direction of these agencies.

Nick MacIneskar