"The Scottish Beavers project has been delighted to call Gartnagrenach its home for the past few beaver monitoring surveys. A joint project between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Scottish Beavers project builds on the Scottish Beaver Trial, which saw the first ever successful reintroduction of a mammal to the UK, right here in Knapdale Forest.
The Knapdale beaver population was established as part of the Scottish Beaver Trial back in 2010-11, when 16 beavers were brought over from Norway and released into various lochs in Knapdale. Today, the forest is home to 20-30 beavers, and the Scottish Beavers project works to improve the prospects of this population by bringing beavers to Knapdale from Tayside in the east of Scotland, and by monitoring the population and assessing its genetic health.
There are beavers on most of the lochs within Knapdale Forest, including Linne and Fidhle, which are just down the track from Gartnagrenach. Look closely there, or take a walk round Collie Bharr and Barnluasgan just across the road, and you might spot some beaver activity. From felling trees and building dams and nibbling twigs, beavers make an impact wherever they are. Look for the bright orange wood that’s exposed when beavers feel a tree to give a clue to where they’ve been active most recently.
Scottish Beavers team members visit Knapdale at least twice a year to carry out our six-monthly monitoring surveys in March and September, and we also visit when we’re releasing animals being moved across from Tayside. We’re very lucky to be able to stay here, right in the heart of the Knapdale beaver population, and we very much appreciate the support and hospitality of Alasdair, Sheena, and Charlie.
Thanks to the work of the Scottish Beavers team, the support of Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry and Land Scotland, Heart of Argyll Wildlife Organisation, and folks like Alasdair and Sheena, in May 2020, beavers were granted European Protected Status in Scotland. This means beavers are back and they’re here to stay. This is great news for beavers, and great news for Scotland’s landscape and wildlife, much of which stands to benefit from the activities of these amazing ecosystem engineers.
We hope you enjoy your stay here as much as we do, and be sure to ask Alasdair and Sheena to point you in the direction of the latest beaver activity!"
Dr Helen Taylor RZSS on behalf of Scottish Beavers, September 2019
"Sheena and Alasdair are wonderful and go that extra mile to make Gartnagrenach a peaceful and restful place to be. We slept like logs there and just loved sitting outside at night with a nice glass of Malt watching the stars appear in the most tranquil setting you can imagine."
Paul & Helene, Wales September 2019
" Thank you to Alasdair and Sheena for letting us stay in your fabulous home. You made us feel so welcome. You truly have thought of everything to make a perfect holiday. Even though Livvy wasn't very well we still managed to explore the area and take some lovely photographs. The journey down to Kintyre and up to Oban was very scenic. We will return.
Ken, Mandy & Livvy (the dog) Co. Durham, August 2019
“A fantastic place to stay and excellent hosts. We had a brilliant weeks getaway here. The location was perfect for a relaxing stay, with many local attractions on the doorstep. The place was well equipped, spotlessly clean and regardless of the inclement weather gave us plenty to do and see. I would highly recommend stopping here.”
W T & Family, Gnoshall, August 2019
"Thanks to Alasdair and Sheena for being amazing hosts. We had a fantastic holiday, it felt like home. House is in a perfect location. A lot of attractions and woodland walks for children and dog to run freely. We couldn't ask for more. We absolutely loved it, we will definitely comeback."
The Mataj Family, Malvern, August 2019
"Our stay at Gartnagrenach Cottage was really perfect! The cottage has everything inside and outside what is needed and we had perfect hosts. The surroundings with beaver trail, crinan trail and the crinan channel is wonderful! It is worth to stay there."
The Sutter Family, Germany, August 2019
"We have had a fantastic stay at Gartnagrenach. Thank you Alasdair and Sheena for making us very welcome and providing endless information about the local area"
The Green family, Bakewell, July 2019
"We have all thoroughly enjoyed our stay here at Gartnagrenach. Thank you Sheena and Alasdair for your hospitality and for your help, hints & tips in spotting the local wildlife! We were really chuffed to have seen a beaver at Loch Coille-Bhar. We would love to come back some time to continue to explore this beautiful area."
M & B Tadcaster, July 2019
"Perfect house, hosts and area. We have had a magical week, highlights include seeing a beaver, otters and seals. Thank you for allowing us to experience the little bit of heaven that is Gartnagrenach. See you in September!!"
K, T & E, Somerset, June 2019
"Lovely cosy house, everything we needed in it. No problem when it rained solidly for 2 days! Saw a beaver!. Sheena and Alasdair great hosts, this area very beautiful. Many thanks for a lovely stay. P.S. The porch/conservatory is a fantastic reading room - when the weather is bad you look out at the drama without getting wet!........
I C and family, Stockport, May 2019
"Spent a wonderful week at Gartnagrenach.The house is very comfortable and has everything you could possibly need!! Masses of information about the local area and we enjoyed all our trips out. Very pet friendly - our 2 labs made very welcome and exhausted by the many walks.
Fantastic little extra touches made us feel welcome and Sheena and Alasdair are great hosts, we will definitely be back."
D & K Mathie, Inverness, May 2019
"Sheena & Alasdair thank you so much for a wonderful holiday in this very cosy home! we've had such a great time tramping around this beautiful country and we are very excited by all we've seen, including beavers!! Thanks to all the info you provided we got out and about a lot. This Dublin gang will be back."
B G and Family, Dublin, Easter 2019
"Alasdair's place is perfect. Great location (beaver trail in walking distance), plenty of cycle trails, beautiful lochs, highly equipped home from home, thoughtful touches , and warm welcome. We look forward to staying again soon."
S De S, England, Apr 2019
"Thanks so much for such a wonderful stay, we really enjoyed it and you both did so much to make us feel welcome. The house is really lovely."
HS March 2019
"Stayed here for 5 days for a survey in the local area. Cottage was very clean, warm, dog friendly, and well stocked with everything you need. It was a great location for exploring Knapdale and I would definitely stay here again."
GM March 2019
"Gartnagrenach far exceeded our expectations for our New Year Trip. Alasdair and Sheena are wonderful hosts and have an immaculate cottage with everything you could ever need and more. A perfect home from home! It is in a perfect location for walks, cycling and wildlife, including the local pine martens, deer and beaver. In fact the beaver lochs are only a short walk from the front door! Alasdair had prepared a selection of local walks and maps which we found really useful for our walks and bike rides. Our little dog was very welcome and was even provided with a bed, dog bowls and treats! Although we were out most of the time there was still plenty to do when we got back, including Sky TV, many games and even a playstation. There is also a large lockable storage space for outdoor gear which was really useful for keeping our muddy boots and bikes in. Overall, we couldn't have asked for a better cottage in such a beautiful part of Scotland. We will be back again!"
Dave - January 2019