regulate the water level of their aquatic habitats.

The 20 or so beavers living here have killed many trees, a point of contention for the Ramsays’ critics. But they have attracted otters, allowed water pools to fill with trout, frogs and toads, and given a nesting place in dead trees to woodpeckers, Ms. Ramsay said.

She said the problem was not the beavers, but farmers who think that any land that does not produce a crop is wasted.

“Their motivation is to drain, drain, drain, so a beaver comes along and wants to make a wet bit here or there — which might be a brilliant habitat — that’s against the farmer’s interest,” she said.

Some beavers did escape from Bamff, Ms. Ramsay acknowledged. She claimed that by the time that happened, though, others had already escaped from a wildlife park some distance away.

The Ramsays took over management of the estate in the 1980s. In the late 1990s, Mr. Ramsay said, he became excited by the idea of introducing beavers at a time when he says the farming and fishing lobby had blocked an official trial project. He denies suggestions from critics that he deliberately let beavers escape to speed things up.

At his farm not far away in Meigle, Adrian Ivory was unconvinced. “Those animals have now escaped for whatever reason,” he said, “and the financial burden is not on the person who caused the problem but on us where the issue now is. They’re now being hailed as heroes for getting beavers back in and there is no thought about what damage it’s doing to our livelihoods.”

Beaver dams in a stream on his land must be removed regularly, Mr. Ivory said, because they threaten the drainage system in a nearby field and caused one year’s crop to rot. Burrowing threatens the stability of banks, making it potentially dangerous to use tractors.

Mr. Ivory said the damage may have cost him £50,000, including wrecked crops and labor costs. “If you rewild everywhere, where’s your next meal coming from?” he asked. “Food becomes a lot more expensive, or you have to import it.”

Mr. Ivory declined to discuss whether he had culled the beaver population on his land, but said he allowed the animals to be trapped for relocation, a task undertaken in Tayside by Roisin Campbell-Palmer, the restoration manager at the Beaver Trust charity.

She works with farmers, rising early in the morning to check traps, then relocating animals to beaver projects in England, where more than 50 have been sent. (Scotland does not allow the animals to be relocated within the country.)

Ms. Campbell-Palmer said she found beavers fascinating and admired their dam-building skills, tenacity and single-mindedness. That said, she understands the complaints of farmers and admits that, having seen some particularly destructive tree-felling, has occasionally said to herself, “‘Of all the trees to cut down, why did you do that one?’”

As she inspected a trap filled with carrots, turnips and apples, Ms. Campbell-Palmer reflected on the ferocious debate and concluded that beavers had undeniably achieved one thing in Scotland.

“I think what they are doing,” she said, “is making us ask wider questions about how we are using the landscape.”

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How to Travel More Sustainably

“Certification can be a tool in the toolbox, but don’t be limited by that,” Dr. Miller said. “It’s about choices, and travelers do have the choice.”

Susanne Etti, the environmental impact specialist at Intrepid Travel, a global tour operator based in Australia, had other tips for travelers. She said they could start by checking the list of the more than 230 travel organizations that have joined the Tourism Declares initiative, members of which have pledged to publish a climate action plan and cut their carbon emissions.

Another reliable indicator, she said, is whether a company has been classified as a “B Corporation” — a rigorous sustainability standard that’s not limited to the tourism industry. Her company, Intrepid, has achieved the distinction, as have the apparel company Patagonia and ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s. The B Corporation website lists some three dozen companies in the “travel and leisure” sector — from a paddle sports company in Hawaii to an Ecuadorean tour bus operator. A number of other tourism businesses are listed under “hospitality,” including Taos Ski Valley and Orlando-based Legacy Vacation Resorts.

Dr. Etti also shared some of the advice that she follows in her own travels. “When you fly, make it count,” she said, adding that, before the pandemic, when she would travel from her current home in Australia to her native Germany, she would do the long-haul flight, but then choose trains or other less-polluting ways to get around Europe, even when cheap short-haul flights were readily available.

Dr. Etti also recommended that travelers learn to slow down. “Stay in one location longer,” she said, “to really understand how life works in that community.”

Many travelers also need a shift in mind-set, said Dominique Callimanopulos, the head of Elevate Destinations, an international tour operator based in Massachusetts that has won a number of awards for its commitment to sustainability. People should learn to see their travels as an opportunity for exchange with a host community rather than a simple consumer transaction. Ms. Callimanopulos said that even her sustainability-inclined clientele rarely do their homework: She has received more questions about the availability of hair dryers than about the company’s environmental or social practices.

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