By Jim Crumley
"Sublime writing...a really vital publication" - Ken Lussey. hundreds of thousands of years after their extinction in those isles, beavers are again in Britain. those hugely expert engineers of the flora and fauna were reintroduced at numerous websites around the united kingdom and, whilst they develop into confirmed, are already having a dramatic influence on our wild landscapes. the following, top nature author Jim Crumley finds the pioneering way of life of those exciting and secretive creatures and considers the ecological and financial influence of the beaver reintroductions. utilising his trademark attractive prose and empathy for all times within the wild, Crumley considers the longer term for Britain's beavers and makes the case for giving them their freedom.
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Extra info for Nature’s Architect: The Beaver’s Return to Our Wild Landscapes
And with them were four red kites, and their keener and giddier voices laced the melee with added confusion. This tumbleweed of birds was drifting apparently involuntarily northwards. If I had stayed among the beaver trees, it would have passed directly overhead, and while I would have heard all of it and strained my frustrated eyes to piece together what was going on, I would have seen next to nothing. Out here, I had a box seat. The red kite is a slender, leisurely, airy waltzer in the macho world of raptors, and a buzzard is halfway to being an eagle, with many of the eagle’s traits.
One of the theories – the most plausible of many – was that they had escaped from a wildlife park. A few days before the phone call, the Scottish Government advisors, SNH, had issued a confident statement to the effect that all but one of the beavers had been captured. The gist of my column was that I had what I thought was good reason to harbour a smattering of doubt. At the time, that coalition of SNH, Forestry Commission, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Edinburgh Zoo had just embarked on the process to establish a trial release of beavers at Knapdale in Argyll.
Liquid architecture. It’s like jazz, you know. The riverbank has newly acquired a small bay, perhaps twenty yards across at the mouth and tapering to half that towards the foot of the steep bank. There had been land there, but it has been wantonly drowned. A single orangey, bluntly pointed face stares up at me from this new water, the surfacing head of a river serpent whose long, skinny body is still submerged. Closer inspection reveals that the “head” is the lower end of a felled tree trunk, and its “face” was chiselled by a beaver, every square inch of the surface not just denuded of bark but also decorated by roughly oblong bite marks, all of it effected in the process of the felling.
Nature’s Architect: The Beaver’s Return to Our Wild Landscapes by Jim Crumley