Bamff Beaver Expedition

The perfect rewilding weekend!

For 20 years Eurasian Beavers have been reshaping land, wildlife, water and minds on the Bamff Estate, which supported the first beaver demonstration project in the UK. 

Now, Bamff Wildland supports over 40 beaver dams, along with new pools, channels and braids. These wonderful beaver wetlands, along with naturally restored woodlands and new rewilding practices, make this a landscape where birds, mammals, invertebrates, plants – and people can thrive.

The brilliance of beavers lies more in what their bodies do, as opposed to how they look… 

Chisel-like teeth and paddle-tails are just two fascinating anatomical features of beavers, which make them first class architects and engineers, much needed skills in their vocation of wetland creation.

The ultimate ‘Keystone Species’, beavers create opportunities for a diversity and abundance of wetland wildlife to return, under their long-evolved, meticulous management.  

Leaky beaver dams and expertly crafted channels help water to behave more naturally, making beaver wetlands exciting, ever-changing and fresh. Tree felling (coppicing) creates dynamic, magnificently messy habitat along water edges, creating safe buffers of shelter and food for nesting birds, small mammals and amphibians; perfect places to tuck up and watch the experts at work too.

When it comes to truly understanding the benefits beavers can bring, seeing really is believing. So join us to discover the beavers and abundant biodiversity of Bamff Wildland, on this immersive Expedition.

Prices

£550.00 per person

(places can be secured with a £150.00 deposit)

Location & Dates

12th – 15th May 2022

 

Bamff Wildland

Blairgowrie

PH11 8LF

 

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Proudly supporting Bamff Wildland.

Accommodation

Expedition accommodation lies at the heart of the Bamff Estate, which has been owned by the Ramsay family since 1232. An incredible history, Neish Ramsay – a doctor – was given the lands of Bamff, Kinkeadly and Ardormie as a reward for saving the life of his patient, King Alexander II of Scotland. With an incredible history, inspiring present, and a hopeful future, Bamff Estate always provides an exciting base for this Expedition.

You will enjoy comfortable, shared accommodation* in Easter Bamff cottage – situated in the heart of the estate. This bright, airy cottage is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing retreat after spending time in nature. The accommodation features a private garden, ideal for a bit of al fresco socialising, or to simply sit in the peace of the Wildland.

 *Please note that the Expedition price remains the same regardless of the room you are matched with. A double room, twin room and single room is available.

Itinerary

THURSDAY | Welcome to Bamff! 

Arriving in the afternoon you’ll be warmly welcomed by your guides along with the rest of the small Expedition group. Once settled into the beautiful Easter Bamff accommodation, we will share an induction to the weekend before heading off to meet the inspiring owners of Bamff Estate, Paul and Louise Ramsay. 

The ultimate Beaver Believers, Paul and Louise have been – and continue to be – instrumental in the return of beavers to Britain. By reintroducing beavers to Bamff, establishing the Scottish Wild Beaver Group and campaigning for the legal protection of beavers in Scotland, the Ramsay’s are renowned as some of Britain’s most esteemed rewilders.

On the evening we’ll join Paul on a guided walk of the estate to discover how the Bamff beavers have influenced land and minds since their reintroduction, a perfect opportunity to simply enjoy the walk, or ask questions about Bamff. 

As the sun sets we will settle along the wetland edge to enjoy our first beaver watch of the weekend. 

FRIDAY to SUNDAY

Bamff Wildland is not only stunning, the estate is also undergoing an exciting transition of ‘dynamic rewilding’. As we search for wildlife you will be introduced to the slight changes in the land’s management that is providing huge returns for nature. 

Throughout the weekend we will explore the wonderful wildlife that shares the beavers wetlands. Each morning will start with a dawn beaver watch, waking slowly to the sights and sounds of nature whilst the beavers finish their work for the night. 

The foraging behaviour of beavers opens up the tree canopy, allowing a vibrant richness of plants and flowers to develop along pool edges. This greenery isn’t just enjoyed by beavers, it attracts beautiful, important invertebrates such as moths. You will have the chance to encounter these much-misunderstood insects through moth trapping sessions – discovering the kaleidoscope of colour hiding in these night-time pollinators. 

We’ll discover life beneath the surface of beaver ponds, lurking amongst woody debris and plants, with some good old fashioned pond dipping. You will have the chance to see these creatures, but also to hear their fascinating underwater acoustics with a hydrophone silent disco!

You will have the opportunity to take part in setting and installing camera traps to capture nocturnal beaver behaviour – and other intriguing creatures of the night. At the end of the weekend we will go through the footage together, and you can take your favourite clips home with you. Beaver wetlands are perfect places for bats to forage, which we will discover and track through the use of bat detectors.

Nights will be spent on the banks of beaver wetlands, watching the masters at work as they repair dams, forage and socialise. Throughout the Expedition you will discover all about this fascinating species’ history, ecology, anatomy, reintroduction, future and much more. 

One evening will be spent with one of Perthshire’s original Beaver Believers, Bob Smith from Nature Nuts, who will take us on one of his excellent, immersive guided riverside Beaver Safari along one of his favourite spots. 

On Sunday we will enjoy a final morning together, discussing the wildlife we encountered and sharing our species list with Paul and Louise. Don’t forget to take your beaver wood chip souvenirs with you!

Your Guides

Wild Intrigue advises and leads community consultation on beaver reintroductions to projects in northern England, such as the Wild Ennerdale beaver reintroduction proposal.

Heather Devey, Co- Director, currently leads Wild Intrigue’s work on the Wild Ennerdale beaver consultation, and is an advisor on beaver ecology and reintroductions for the RSPB.

She has previously worked as Project Officer for the Cumbria Beaver Group, sharing the intrigue, ecology and future of beavers with people across northern England focussed on the Lowther Estate trial beaver reintroduction. 

(Heather is just as excited as you are about the Bamff Beaver Expedition!)

Cain Scrimgeour, Co-Director, has worked as a professional wildlife photographer and filmmaker for the last decade, he leads Wild Intrigue’s media projects, as well as guiding experiences.

Cain’s been visiting Bamff since 2010, watching the landscape change and develop as the beavers worked their magic. Every visit is just as exciting as the first time!

Bamff Estate

Paul & Louise Ramsay

Paul and Louise Ramsay own and live on the Bamff Estate, and introduced the first beavers to their grounds in 2002.

Proud ‘Beaver Believers’, Paul and Louise founded Scottish Wild Beaver Group, and have been instrumental in lobbying Scottish government to establish legal protection for beavers in Scotland.

Their passion and work has been vital in supporting the reintroduction of beavers throughout Britain. 

Nature Nuts

Bob Smith

Bob is one of the original Beaver Believers in Perthishire. We originally spotted Bob sharing his passion for Beavers in Tayside on the TV!

He’s extremely passionate about nature, whether it be Black Grouse on the moors, Mountain Hares in the hills or Beavers in the rivers.

The one thing Bob loves most is sharing experiences in nature, which he does through his wildlife tourism business Nature Nuts.

Bob will be guiding one of the evening sessions of the expedition, at one of his well known Beaver families on a river habitat.

Included:

Shared accommodation in Easter Bamff cottage

Introduction to Bamff Wildland with Paul and Louise Ramsay

Tour of beaver wetlands with Paul Ramsay

Exclusive riverside beaver safari with local guide, Bob Smith (Nature Nuts)

Immersive wildlife experiences and use of professional equipment 

Use of binoculars throughout the weekend

Ethical wildlife photography tips 

Contribution to Bamff Wildland’s rewilding work

Not included:

Food and drink 

Travel to and from the Bamff Estate

Travel insurance

Goats & Gourmet
Breakfast with Red Squirrels