The scientific monitoring period of the Scottish Beaver Trial came to an end in May 2014. In June 2015, Scottish Natural Heritage published the Beavers in Scotland Report.

On 24 November 2016, the Scottish Government made the landmark announcement that beavers are to remain in Scotland. For more information, please read the joint press release issued by RZSS and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

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Visit Knapdale

A trip to the Scottish Beaver Trial in Knapdale Forest provides a fun family day out. Be a beaver detective and spot the signs of beaver activity in one of the most stunning parts of Scotland.

Visitors Walking Trail Dubh Loch

Exploring the Trial site

Begin your trip at the Barnluasgan car park and discover more about beavers and their return to Scotland at the Barnluasgan Information Centre. Then try the Beaver Detective Trail, a two hour (three mile) circular walk which follows the natural terrain around the Dubh Loch and Loch Collie Bharr.

The attractive path, with moderate gradients, features mostly good gravel surfaces but may be wet and muddy in some places. A short section follows a public road. Hiking boots advised as well as midge repellent! Check out our Virtual Guided Tour of the site for top spotting tips.

Knawed tree_spotting the beaver signs

Spotting the beaver signs

The beaver family resident on the Dubh Loch have been the most visible in demonstrating their construction skills. Follow the Beaver Detective Trial from the Barnluasgan Information Centre for around 20 minutes to get there.

Look out for felled and regenerating trees, stripped branches (some with teeth marks!) and beaver canals. Also get a close-up of a real beaver dam by walking across the amazing floating pontoon on Loch Coille-Bharr. Click here to download a copy of our visitor’s guide.

Spotting the beaver signs

Beaver watching

Lucky (and patient!) visitors have spotted the beavers swimming and feeding on the loch. Beaver are most active at night, so why not make your visit at dusk or dawn?

Beavers are shy creatures: remember to be quiet and patient while looking out for ripples in the loch and listening for splashing water and gnawing sounds. Please do not disturb beavers, their lodges or dams.

Have you been one of our lucky visitors? Click here to email us about your beaver spot.

Click here to read all about the latest beaver sightings and activity on our blog.

Click here to download fun, family activities to enjoy during your visit.

Getting to Knapdale

Knapdale Forest is located 7 miles to the west of Lochgilphead, in the Heart of Argyll. It is accessible by car, bicycle or public transport. Click here for directions to the Trial site.

Project partners

The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust
Forestry Commission Scotland

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Comments of support

"I welcome the return of beavers to Knapdale. Beavers are fascinating creatures famed for their industrious habits, and their arrival to Knapdale is certainly creating a booming industry for local businesses." - Local businessman Darren Dobson, owner of the Cairnbaan Hotel

With thanks to

Beaver Trial Supporters
People's Postcode Lottery

See our other supporters

The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust