Dear sir,

At an individual level, humanity can range in ability and performance all the way to genius, but collectively we can be, and often are more stupid than a flock of sheep. We believe, and act on these beliefs, notions that reward in the short term and support what we want to believe, despite conflicting evidence.

The pseudo science trotted out to support what beavers can do that has a genuine economic benefit is an example. Water logged ground on its way to becoming a bog, may have some visible species such as butterflies and some wild flowers at or near the surface, but below the water level, the acidity makes it pretty sterile (otherwise the peat would not accumulate).

Well drained arable land on the other hand contains many species which are only disregarded because they are more difficult to photograph. So the biodiversity argument is at best flawed. If biodiversity was the genuine goal much more would be achieved by well placed beetle banks.

As for flood mitigation beavers do not build their dams to store flood water but for their own purposes including submerged entrances to their burrows and lodges. The real reason that we have more flooding events, apart from, increased heavy rain events, is the lack of adequate dredging operations in the lower reaches of rivers.

This costs money and as people vote for politicians who tell them it isn't necessary, the work has not been done for long periods. Furthermore, tourism is claimed to be enhanced, but unless and until tourists pay actual cash to those providing the wildlife spectacle, it is only a self-serving estimate with most of the money going to fuel stations and food retailers.

But we will be stuck with them and if the experiences some have endured with officialdom and sea eagles are any guide farmers and land owners facing imminent beaver infestation, should get reliable records of the quality of their drainage before they arrive. I would not trust the valuations of a public body that had limited budgets and a strong incentive to limit its liability.

Sandy Henderson, Faulds Farm, Braco.