Railway engineers build beaver pass on Highland line

  • Published
Beaver passImage source, Network Rail
Image caption,
The 'beaver pass' is believed to be the first of its kind in Scotland

Railway engineers have built what they believe is Scotland's first ever 'beaver pass', to allow the animals to go under the Highland mainline.

The tunnel near Gleneagles will help prevent flooding issues caused by beavers building dams in the line's drainage culverts.

The area around Perth has a growing population of beavers.

A pipe has been fitted for the protect animals in an existing culvert, with mesh either side to prevent blockage.

The culvert had previously been home to a beaver lodge, which led to flooding.

Working with beaver specialists at NatureScot, the Network Rail team pumped the water out over a number of days before removing the 5m dam by hand.

Image source, Network Rail
Image caption,
Engineers dismantled the dam by hand before building the pass

Network Rail Scotland ecologist James Morrison said: "To a beaver, a culvert probably looks like a hole in a dam, so they are very popular damming spots.

"The action we took near Gleneagles is the first beaver pass installed in the country that we are aware of."

Mr Morrison said the expansion of beavers across Scotland could also lead to them felling trees onto the line or burrowing into railway embankments.

He said: "However, they are an important keystone species and we need a proactive approach and sensitive solutions that allow us to co-exist."

Related Topics