Road closure blamed on local beaver residents.
Traffic disruption caused as gnawed tree falls across road
Busy beavers have caused traffic disruption in east Perthshire.
A tree with a visibly gnawed trunk came crashing down on the A94 near Coupar Angus yesterday afternoon.
The busy route was closed for about an hour while council crews used a digger to clear the carriageway.
The tree was on a patch of land at the edge of town that runs alongside Coupar Burn. The area was recently the focus of a major restoration project.
A photograph taken by a passer-by shows apparent damage caused by beavers near where the tree split.
Traffic was diverted through the town during the road closure.
A recent study revealed a surge in the number of wild beavers in Perthshire.
Beavers fell trees to eat the tips and bark from the upper branches and for use in dam or lodge construction
The number of creatures descended from illegally-released animals has grown considerably in the last six years.
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) found that 430 beavers are now living in the river catchment area.
Farmers say they cause damage to the agricultural economy and their dams can lead to flooding in the fields.
Beavers started appearing in Tayside about 12 years ago and there have been calls to give them protected status as native animals.
An SNH spokesman said: “Beavers fell trees to eat the tips and bark from the upper branches and for use in dam or lodge construction.
“They mostly prefer smaller stems, less than 0.2m in diameter, but can sometimes use larger trees. Occasionally this can include trees near to roads or residential property.”
He said: “We advise anyone who sees a beaver-gnawed tree that looks unstable and could be dangerous to contact the landowner or the local authority. Advice and support on how to protect individual trees from beaver felling is available from SNH.”
Around 430 beavers live in the area.