Packham v Beavers ?

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midgydug

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Chris Packham is now wanting to plant 100k trees, yet we
introduce a creature that cuts them down on a daily basis.
We managed for hundreds of years without Beavers yet a minority
of people thought it would be a good idea to re introduce them.
I'm not wanting to start a scientific v common sense debate but just
to show how controversial some of their do good projects are.
There is no argument that planting trees are good for the planet,for once I agree with Mr Packham but
there is not much evidence that Beavers are good for Scottish river systems.
In fact speaking to some Latvian shooters, they cannot believe (to the point
of laughing) that we introduced them to a country that was free of them.
 

westie4566

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.....and there's the rub.

The likes of Packham and his followers are so obsessed with their own fervour that, they literally can't see the wood for the trees.
 

Mattytree

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Water side trees Like willow and alder have growing characteristics that have evolved from creatures like beavers , I don’t think it’s a bad thing ...I can think of a few burns on the Tyne that have dozens of trees Cris crossing and they are absolute fish havens and the small stew ponds are ideal nursery’s for you young sea trout and salmon... that’s how nature has evolved. Obviously when they get down to a country estate or farm land and start chomping through specimen and veteran trees then you have a problem but In uplands I think beavers are a good thing and naturally part of migratory fish creating habitat.
 

goosander

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Just wondering how many deer are going to be killed to save the trees and how many capercailly going to die caught in the deer fences. Planted on the higher ground the white hares that shooters have been told to stop shooting will be left to eat the trees.????
Bob.
 

Wafty Cranker

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A hypocrite of the highest order cleverly making money from all his admirers to the detriment of our country life and wildlife, despicable man!!
He is going to have to plant a lot more trees to offset his own carbon footprint.

Chris Packham Archives - Guido Fawkes Guido Fawkes

These wildlife trips do not include flights it seems, so an even larger carbon footprint left by this hypocrite:doh:
 
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Jockiescott

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Water side trees Like willow and alder have growing characteristics that have evolved from creatures like beavers , I don’t think it’s a bad thing ...I can think of a few burns on the Tyne that have dozens of trees Cris crossing and they are absolute fish havens and the small stew ponds are ideal nursery’s for you young sea trout and salmon... that’s how nature has evolved. Obviously when they get down to a country estate or farm land and start chomping through specimen and veteran trees then you have a problem but In uplands I think beavers are a good thing and naturally part of migratory fish creating habitat.
I tend to agree with this.

There are a few burns that feed my river that have basically become storm drains in recent years with the amount of moorland and farmland drainage that has taken place. The water in the main river rises and falls very quickly. Perhaps a few naturally made dams in the upper reaches of those burns could hold some of the water back and allow it to release more slowly into the main river meaning that it takes longer for a spate to disappear. The slower release and filtration of water through the dams should make the river clean sooner too rather than two days after the river is back at normal levels.

Slower release of water in the higher reaches can also help against flooding.

With seemingly no interest or appetite to help to slow down water release by local authorities, perhaps beavers could be part of a natural solution to a man made problem.

I know there's pros and cons in every argument and the pros mentioned above probably don't outweigh the cons in the bigger picture of introducing beavers.
 

AlanT

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. . . . and provide top class nurseries for juvenile fish, especially protection against febs
 

Fruinfisher

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The downside being they cut down trees which provide shade , keeping the water cool in increasingly warmer summers.
 

Wafty Cranker

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Dams, are they not likely to put an obstacle in the way of some migratory fish to spawning grounds? No spawn, no juveniles.

When the numbers increase and they start felling trees into pools and runs, who is going to foot the cost of removing these from the fishing grounds?
 

firefly

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Dams, are they not likely to put an obstacle in the way of some migratory fish to spawning grounds? No spawn, no juveniles.

When the numbers increase and they start felling trees into pools and runs, who is going to foot the cost of removing these from the fishing grounds?
It's a manmade problem, from an anthropocentric view they can be seen as a nuisance, but they never were to the ecosystem nor to salmon. For millennia they have co-existed and contributed to the biodiversity of river systems. Of course they fell trees and the river needs them as well, a lot of micro-organisms and invertebrates depend on the organic material the beaver provides them with. Beavers enrich rivers in many ways, the only problem they present is when men can't get to the salmon that are resting behind the fallen tree the beaver put in their way. To the salmon the tree was never a problem, on the contrary. Shouldn't we be smart enough by now to solve our selfmade problem without shooting at the pianoplayer? His music is still the same, it's as old as the river, the beaver is not out of tune with nature, we are if we decide we don't want to listen to him anymore.
 
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BBC - Earth - Beavers are back in the UK and they will reshape the land



Meanwhile, fishermen believe that beaver dams impede fish stocks, reducing their catch.

In 2012, Paul Kemp from the University of Southampton investigated this issue further. Poring over 108 studies from 1930 to 2011, he found 184 benefits and 119 costs of beaver dams. "It's certainly not straightforward, it's complex," Kemp says. "It's ecology and everything in ecology is always complex."

Out of those negatives, the most common and most logical was the blockage of migrating fish by beaver dams. Scrutinising further, however, Kemp found nearly 71% of total drawbacks were not backed by quantitative data. They were based on speculation, not hard stats.

Where evidence is available, the benefits greatly outnumber the negatives.

"In many cases, what you have is an increase in the heterogeneity – the diversity, of habitat," Kemp adds. "Then you can get increased abundance of fish in those areas. And when the rains come, [the dams] are quite passable under the high flow."



Kemp's words are backed by a study published in July 2016 in the journal Scientific Reports. After surveying steelhead salmon in 20 miles (32km) of Bridge Creek catchment in the US, Nicolaas Bouwes from Utah State University and his colleagues found no evidence that the building of beaver dams blocked the fish's upstream migration routes.

As they wrote, "several spawners were documented as having passed more than 200 dams or simulated beaver dams [made from wood posts and weaved willow] during their migrations."

After asking one of the researchers from Bridge Creek whether fish stocks had been reduced, Gow recalls a memorable response from a few years back. "He nearly fell off the river bank laughing at the idea that beavers were a bad thing for game fishing. He said it was completely the opposite."

As Brazier tells me, the problem is often built on ignorance.
 
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ArchieL

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Not seen any Dams and thought our European beaver never built them but what i have seen is lots of cut trees and branches submerged in once good fishing runs. Spent 40 minutes trying to save a fly line when fishing a lower Tay beat few years ago, you are only getting dropped off by Ghillie in the boat for 1 hour to fish this pool then he will come and collect you , He returned as he seen i was struggling to free a now tangled line from beaver stash in the hot spot. So i never got to fish the hot spot this day. So negative impact for me this day and a reason i will avoid beats where beaver activity is impacting on your fishing. On the flip side if beavers were managed and restricted where they could interfere with the rivers flow then i do not have a problem but like we have seen in Scotland the cat is out the bag and they are now protected so virtually nothing you can do which does not involve lots of paper work and stress and time wasting. Lets all remember that there is a big difference in salmon fishing on Scottish rivers (8 anglers on short beat) than being in Alaska (Miles of river & wilderness) where rivers seem to run forever. Lots of beats in Scotland will IMHO start to be fished less once beavers start cutting down more trees and stashing branches in pools and under banks.

But never mind as in Scotland soon it is not going to be about catching salmon anymore it is going to be about having a jolly old time at your fishing resort and not talking to your ghillie about the lack of fish. Maybe they can introduce a species check list and get rid of the salmon catch return book.
 

goosander

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Every time an article comes up about beavers we are told how wonderful they are. I just wonder how many people have seen the damage they do,
As far as what the scientist say I always ask who is paying for them. Strange how they seam to always agree with the people who are paying there wages.
Bob.
 

firefly

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Every time an article comes up about beavers we are told how wonderful they are. I just wonder how many people have seen the damage they do,
As far as what the scientist say I always ask who is paying for them. Strange how they seam to always agree with the people who are paying there wages.
Bob.
I had the pleasure of hosting a beaver in front of my house for a couple of years, first time it appeared I had to free it from the canal that ran through the garden. It didn't like the dogs, but stayed in the neighbourhood anyway and the dogs got used to it. It came to eat, his castle being further up the river on a tributary. It fell a few trees on the bank, just to get at the new leaves and thinner branches to peal them. Then it spent considerable time on both the islands to thin out elder trees and similar riverside vegetation, without ever destroying it all. Next year it came back to feast on the new shoots, as if it knew how to manage its food supply. It never attacked large trees anymore after a couple of tries, its castle being so far away it took too much time and energy to transport the food over there. Around beaver castles damage can be more substantial due to the need for building materials, but once this is found and used habitats are found to recover and permanent destruction is quite rare. Cleared areas are overgrown with faster growing vegetation, the kind a beaver is much more interested in to complete his diet. If however you would want another big tree in place of the one it felled, you'll have to wait much longer. What may appear as destruction to humans is utilitarian landscaping to beavers. And of course we have to take into consideration that beaver teeth keep growing, they have to use them all the time to keep them in proportion. We could blame nature for saddling them up with that problem.
 

Jockiescott

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Not seen any Dams and thought our European beaver never built them but what i have seen is lots of cut trees and branches submerged in once good fishing runs. Spent 40 minutes trying to save a fly line when fishing a lower Tay beat few years ago, you are only getting dropped off by Ghillie in the boat for 1 hour to fish this pool then he will come and collect you , He returned as he seen i was struggling to free a now tangled line from beaver stash in the hot spot. So i never got to fish the hot spot this day. So negative impact for me this day and a reason i will avoid beats where beaver activity is impacting on your fishing. On the flip side if beavers were managed and restricted where they could interfere with the rivers flow then i do not have a problem but like we have seen in Scotland the cat is out the bag and they are now protected so virtually nothing you can do which does not involve lots of paper work and stress and time wasting. Lets all remember that there is a big difference in salmon fishing on Scottish rivers (8 anglers on short beat) than being in Alaska (Miles of river & wilderness) where rivers seem to run forever. Lots of beats in Scotland will IMHO start to be fished less once beavers start cutting down more trees and stashing branches in pools and under banks.

But never mind as in Scotland soon it is not going to be about catching salmon anymore it is going to be about having a jolly old time at your fishing resort and not talking to your ghillie about the lack of fish. Maybe they can introduce a species check list and get rid of the salmon catch return book.
This can be an issue on my river but it is usually as a result of anglers who can't cast. Their fly gets caught on the tip of a branch and the next thing the whole limb of the tree, or sometimes the whole tree itself, gets cut. They let them lie where they fall for the next flood to carry them off and block another part of the river downstream.

I might have sympathy for the beavers but fools who can't cast really grind my gears!!! :lol:
 

The flying Scotsman

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I had the pleasure of hosting a beaver in front of my house for a couple of years, first time it appeared I had to free it from the canal that ran through the garden. It didn't like the dogs, but stayed in the neighbourhood anyway and the dogs got used to it. It came to eat, his castle being further up the river on a tributary. It fell a few trees on the bank, just to get at the new leaves and thinner branches to peal them. Then it spent considerable time on both the islands to thin out elder trees and similar riverside vegetation, without ever destroying it all. Next year it came back to feast on the new shoots, as if it knew how to manage its food supply. It never attacked large trees anymore after a couple of tries, its castle being so far away it took too much time and energy to transport the food over there. Around beaver castles damage can be more substantial due to the need for building materials, but once this is found and used habitats are found to recover and permanent destruction is quite rare. Cleared areas are overgrown with faster growing vegetation, the kind a beaver is much more interested in to complete his diet. If however you would want another big tree in place of the one it felled, you'll have to wait much longer. What may appear as destruction to humans is utilitarian landscaping to beavers. And of course we have to take into consideration that beaver teeth keep growing, they have to use them all the time to keep them in proportion. We could blame nature for saddling them up with that problem.
You want to see the banks of the Isla. Totally barren barely a tree left standing either bank for miles no sign of dams anywhere on main river. The banks are dangerous with large holes and glides in the mud that’s a one way ticket into the river if not noticed. Numerous trees 2ft diameter felled. One massive tree right in the deep holding part of the pool that cost us 2 20lb plus springers.
 

GeeBee

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Beavers are a good thing, they enhance flood protection and fish habitat.

Plus if they get too numerous the eagles and wolves will keep their numbers down.
 

firefly

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You want to see the banks of the Isla. Totally barren barely a tree left standing either bank for miles no sign of dams anywhere on main river. The banks are dangerous with large holes and glides in the mud that’s a one way ticket into the river if not noticed. Numerous trees 2ft diameter felled. One massive tree right in the deep holding part of the pool that cost us 2 20lb plus springers.
Then your problem is probably overpopulation, beavers didn't come back naturally, they were set out by humans. If territorial limitations weren't respected it will take time before the problem is solved by the beavers themselves and the visible signs disappear. As ever when they spring from stupidity. Beavers will settle the manmade problem on their own terms if necessary, under the law of nature, gradually but definitely when given the chance. Ever seen a beaver fight?
Sorry about your loss, though, but it reinforces my point, the salmon obviously didn't mind the tree, you did. QED.
 

marty31

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Climate change has been going on forever, how do you plan to stop it?
er have you been in hibernation? is it not no1 topic in the world? are the amazon rain forests burning uncontrollably? is the artic not melting? do trees not help? and you ask what I plan to do about it single handed? if the mans name wasn't packham you would be calling him a hero, get a grip mate
 

cgaines10

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er have you been in hibernation? is it not no1 topic in the world? are the amazon rain forests burning uncontrollably? is the artic not melting? do trees not help? and you ask what I plan to do about it single handed? if the mans name wasn't packham you would be calling him a hero, get a grip mate
It certainly is right now, but as per my previous post the climate has forever changed. It’s nothing new. It’s impossible to reverse but we can reduce our footprint, but the climate will continue to change.

How did you come to the conclusion I would call Packham a hero? He’s irrelevant to my previous comment.

Little bit of light reading for you Marty mate

Climate change - Abrupt climate changes in Earth history | Britannica



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