Farmers are fuming about the lack of a ‘proper consultation’ on the reintroduction of beavers in the Cairngorm National Park. Currently, beavers could be released by the end of the year despite the animal being blamed by landowners for exasperating the impact of recent floods in the Tay Valley.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), which is involved in the project, said there had been months of public engagement, including a formal six-week process involving in-person meetings.

However, farmers in the area state that there has been little investigation into the potential damage to property and crops besides the Spey River and its tributaries.

Robert MacDonald, who farms near Grantown-on-Spey, said: “The national park authority has been all over the area trying to promote the benefits of beavers, but there has not been enough consultation with land managers. We are the ones who will have to live with the consequences after the arrival of these beavers.

“The more I read about it the more catastrophic it seems to be. There is the flooding aspect for a start. The farms along the Spey Valley floor have been damaged enough by the recent floods without adding beavers in. The experience in Tayside where their burrows cause blowouts on river banks has led to a lot of damage.

“I would argue that there should be some form of mitigation or compensation scheme before we go any further with the introduction of the species. We have seen it before with the white-tailed-eagles on the west coast.

There has been a request submitted to NatureScot to release a small number of the animals at three sites: Rothiemurchus Estate, near Aviemore, RSPB Scotland's Insh Marshes, near Kingussie, and Land managed by Wildland Cairngorms which is owned by billionaires Anne and Anders Holch Povlsens.

Head of conservation at CNPA, Dr Sarah Henshall, told the BBC: "Beavers are a keystone species.

"They have the ability to shape and modify their environment. They can restore freshwater habitats."

Defending the consultation process she explained the authority has engaged with more than 500 people online and over 100 people had attended face-to-face meetings. The conclusion of the meeting, according to Dr Henshall, was there is a high level of support for the reintroduction of beavers. The park authority has gone as far as to appoint a ‘beaver officer’ to monitor the animals and address people’s concerns.

Current expert guidance states that it will be 15 years until beavers because abundant in the area.