This morning the mood in Mid Argyll matches the weather: warm, sunny, optimistic. Darren Dobson, the native Isle-of-Wighter, who moved north and took over the Cairnbaan Hotel ten years ago, is convinced that the beaver is a good news story.
“It’s great for the profile of the area. It’s such a beautiful place. We’ve sea eagles and pine martens - and now beavers. It’s a wonderful day, it will bring many more visitors in,” he says. The hotel proprietor is a keen angler and has made it is business, he says, to research the beasts’ impact on fishing stocks. He has not found any evidence of harm. If he had, he says, he would stand “shoulder-to-shoulder with my fellow anglers”.
So keen is Mr Dobson to get his head round his subject, he has even eaten beaver. Tastes like chicken? “Like rabbit, actually,” he says. “I had it on fajitas. In Norway.”
This line never made it into the final copy, which appears here: Beavers back in Scotland.