FARMERS are keen for legislation to be proven on Cairngorm National Park’s bid to release beavers into the River Spey catchment area.

Farmers and landowners have said that a proper consultation had still to be held on proposals to release beavers in the UK's biggest national park.

A small number of the animals could be introduced into the Cairngorms by the end of next month.

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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, some landowners said their concerns about the potential for damage to property and crops had not been addressed.

Following these worries, a gathering of rural members called the ‘Spey Crofters and Farmers’, took matters into their own hands and they organised a discussion with the Cairngorm National Park Authority (CNPA).

Following on from the meeting on Tuesday, November 14, which was held in the upland glen of South Clunes Farm owned by the Swift Family, the ‘Spey Crofters and Farmers’ had the opportunity to hear from the CNPA and discuss concerns felt within the community.

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They were able to see firsthand the beaver’s habitat within a 100-acre enclosure around Loch Grant, where the Swift family have kept beavers for 15 years.

Local farmer, Ruaridh Ormiston who was previously sceptical about the reintroduction of beavers has seen another side of the debate. He said; “As a group, I feel we are a lot less fearful of the introduction for now.”