Young artists beavering away in East Dunbartonshire


Jo with the prize winners

Jo gave out prizes on Saturday to local school children as part of the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s ‘Celebrating Scottish Wildlife’ event in Kirkintilloch, celebrating the release of four families of European beavers into the wilds of Scotland.

The theme of the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s (SWT) Annual Children’s Art Competition East Dunabartonshire this year was beavers. It coincides with the launch of the Scottish Beaver Trial, in which the SWT and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland will re-introduce wild beavers to Scotland.

The prize-giving ceremony was held by the Clyde Members’ Centre of the SWT at the Regents Centre in Kirkintilloch on Saturday, and also marked the launch of the Centre’s new website. The competition winner was Beth Keller from Killermont Primary School, who was presented with a cup for herself and her school, a year’s membership of the SWT and family days out at the Glasgow Vet School Rodeo and the SWT Visitor’s Centre at Falls of Clyde. Second and third prizes were won by Georgia Sutherland of Lenzie Moss Primary and Andie Henderson of Lenzie Primary School. The Highly Commended prize was awarded to Emma Barclay of Meadowburn Primary. The event also featured face-painting and children’s wildlife storytelling sessions with staff from William Patrick Library.

Commenting, Jo said:

“It’s great that so many children in the area have been involved in this competition, not least because it means they’ve learned some things about Scottish wildlife. I look forward to hearing of the release of the beavers and finding out how they get on in Scotland.”

The four beaver families from Norway have recently completed six months in quarantine and are being transported to Knapdale Forest in Mid-Argyll for imminent release. The beavers have names, including one Andreas Bjorn and his “wife” Gunnreike. One of their daughters is named Mary Lou after a camerawoman responsible for filming them. The BBC’s Springwatch will follow the release, and as this is first ever formal wild introduction of beavers to the UK, experts will monitor their impact on the local environment over a five year period.

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