I'm a trustee of my local wildlife trust. I was a bit late for tonight's Trust meeting - but I was in time for a discussion about beavers. I'm interested in beavers, and in particular whether they should be allowed to run around in a natural state in wild Wales. It was a private meeting so I can only comment on my own opinion. Instinctively and emotionally, I'm attracted to the idea of beavers on the loose - but I'm always a bit suspicious of reintroductions of what have become de facto alien species. The one thing we can be sure of is that the consequences will not be what we think they might be. Personally, I'm pleased that the European Beaver is going to be reintroduced on a trial basis in Scotland, rather than Wales. Hopefully, we will wait until the evidence of these trials are available before we take the plunge.
Only last week, I heard reports of dreadful damage being caused by another animal which has been returned to the wild, the wild boar. Initially, I also instinctively and emotionally liked the idea of this creature roaming through our woodlands as well. But last week they ventured out of their woodland retreats and dug up a cricket pitch. This is a declaration of intent. Something must be done. Well, I also read last week that Henry the Eighth used to hunt wild boar and sent one to Anne Boleyn as a token of his passion for her, pleading that she should think of him when she ate it. Could this be a virtuous circle. We reintroduce new species into our countryside, and then object to what their nature compels them to do, and then we reintroduce the old county sport of hunting them. Just imagine hundreds of Welshmen on horseback, riding off into the woods hunting beavers.