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Walter Beaver sketchbook page by Hannah Longmuir

You know those days at work when you have a billion important work tasks to do (like preparing for Scotland’s Trade Fair this weekend) but instead you manage to sketch a cheeky beaver called Walter? I’m having one of those.

I’m very excited that beavers are now colonising the UK. Seeing a beaver in the wild – specifically Walter, if possible – is now my new life ambition. Here’s 10 facts I’ve learnt about beavers:

  1. They are appoximately the same size as a labrador (roughly 30 kilos) but with shorter legs
  2. They are nocturnal
  3. They have reddish brown coats
  4. Their ears close underwater (which is where they like to be)
  5. They have transparent eyelids for swimming *very handy*
  6. Beavers mate for life.
  7. They live in family groups in purpose made log lodges.
  8. Beavers create a matrix of wet habitats that help young woodland to thrive and create pools rich is aquatic plants. These habitats in turn mean that wildlife can flourish.
  9. Their front teeth never stop growing. The teeth are coated in a layer of orange iron-rich enamel.
  10. Scotland’s beavers now have official government protection.

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