Dam it! Beavers bring down tree on busy Perthshire road

© Scottish Wildlife TrustPost Thumbnail

A tree seemingly gnawed by beavers has come crashing down onto a busy Perthshire road.

The A94 near Coupar Angus has been temporarily closed while workers attempt to clear the carriageway.

The damage was reported at around 2.30pm on Friday. Perth and Kinross Council said a digger had been brought in to remove the fallen tree.

The tree on the A94

An image taken by a passer-by appears to show damage caused by beavers at the base of the tree.

© Supplied
Photo shows beaver damage to tree

A recent study revealed a surge in the number of wild beavers in Perthshire.

The number of creatures descended from illegally-released animals living on Tayside has grown considerably in the last six years.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) found that 430 beavers are now living in the river catchment area.

Farmers say they cause damage to the agricultural economy and their dams can lead to flooding in the fields.

Beavers started appearing in Tayside about 12 years ago and there have been calls to give them protected status as native animals.

An SNH spokesman said: “Beavers fell trees to eat the tips and bark from the upper branches and for use in dam or lodge construction.

“They mostly prefer smaller stems, less than 0.2m in diameter, but can sometimes use larger trees. Occasionally this can include trees near to roads or residential property.”

He said: “We advise anyone who sees a beaver-gnawed tree that looks unstable and could be dangerous to contact the landowner or the local authority. Advice and support on how to protect individual trees from beaver felling is available from SNH.”

The spokesman added: “Beavers can help nature thrive by creating wetlands and meadows, benefiting many animals and insects, reducing flooding and improving water quality. The return of beavers to Scotland gives people a chance to connect with nature by seeing these fascinating animals back in the wild.”