This commissioned report is a social science case study of how beaver management groups are forming around the unofficial beaver populations. It draws on findings from a previous, peer-reviewed study that captured the experiences of stakeholders involved in governing the River Otter Beaver Trial (ROBT) (Renewed Coexistence: Learning from Steering Group Stakeholders on a Beaver Reintroduction Project in England, 2022), and explores the applicability of those findings to the River Tamar. The findings of the report can be applied to other settings and inform the development of other Beaver Management Groups.
The findings were that Beaver Management Groups can be adaptive structures that evolve in reflection of changing circumstances and new learning. Rather than being a fixed governance structure therefore, Beaver Management Groups themselves are a process, that seeks to facilitate renewed coexistence between humans and beavers in catchment settings. Three key stages to in the beaver management group process were identified: ‘Formation’, ‘Functioning’, and ‘Future?’. It also considers the external factors at play at each stage of the process.