Review: Bringing Back the Beaver: The Story of One Man’s Quest to Rewild Britain’s Waterways, by Derek Gow

Derek Gow has campaigned for years to reintroduce beavers into Britain. The animals were hunted to extinction centuries ago, and the case for reintroducing them is a compelling one. Basically, beavers’ building activities, including damming, is one of the best ways to restore the natural environment, conserve natural resources, save endangered species, prevent flooding, and so on. The problem with Gow’s book is, I believe the author. His friends find him entertaining — laugh-out loud funny, according to some of the quotes on the book’s cover. I did not find most of it funny. And while Gow’s “take no prisoners” approach to those who disagree with him, or those he has not yet convinced, may appeal to some, I don’t enjoy reading it. Yes, the case for reintroducing beavers into Britain is rock solid. But those who are not yet familiar with the evidence, or may just have differing opinions, are not worthless sods.