Allan Water Improvement Project Re-funded

The River Forth Fisheries Trust is pleased that the Allan Water Improvement Project has successfully received further funding from the Scottish Government to continue its much-needed work to support land managers along the river Allan and promote good land and water practices within the catchment.

The Allan runs from the Ochil Hills above Blackford in Perth & Kinross through the towns of Dunblane and Bridge of Allan to its confluence with the Forth just upstream of Stirling. It has a catchment size of approximately 216km2, supports populations of Atlantic salmon and sea trout and other protected species but is highly impacted by land & other infrastructure use which curtails its potential and adds to flood risk.

The project was started four years ago and is managed by the River Forth Fisheries Trust in conjunction with a steering group. It works with land managers offering assistance and advice to promote good land management practices along the river to identify and install potential ecosystem benefits such as Natural Flood Management and habitat restoration for the benefit of river processes, wildlife and communities throughout the catchment.

By working at catchment scale, the project has delivered a wide range of benefits including:
• A study on barriers to migration across the whole catchment and discussions for removal or mitigation with structure owners
• Creation of riparian woodlands to slow water run off to reduce flood risk, stabilise banks and cool the water
• Fund and deliver with landowners green engineering options which are wildlife friendly to prevent bank erosion and siltation
• Deliver peatland restoration in the upper catchment to reduce the speed of water run off and help with carbon sequestration
• Managing control of the invasive non-native species giant hogweed along riparian zones.

Over the next year, the project will be working with organisations such as Transport Scotland & Bear Scotland to address fish barriers along the A9 road corridor which runs along the eastern side of the Allan Water. When constructed, the culverts limited fish access to tributaries and prevented aquatic wildlife from moving freely throughout the catchment. To maintain sustainable fish populations, accessible habitat is required for Atlantic salmon and other migratory fish. By working with Transport Scotland and Bear the project will develop methods of removing the issues and allowing better access to spawning grounds and other habitat currently inaccessible.

Projects are also being discussed and agreed with landowners for more green bank improvements, heathland management and riparian planting to continue to protect the river from erosion and siltation and to benefit the long term aims of climate change and flood risk attenuation.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “The River Forth Fisheries Trust’s catchment approach is improving the river environment and helping people understand the benefits of natural flood management measures.
“Our funding will help the Trust work with land managers across the catchment to make landscape changes which can help reduce surface water run-off and flooding.”

River Forth Fisheries Trust Manager Alison Baker said: The continued support from the Scottish Government allows the Trust to drive land and water management changes in the Allan Water catchment. The project can be flexible and reactive within the aims of the project plan which enables us to deliver opportunities in line with land owners requirements and bring cumulative improvements. The Project officer has developed wide ranging partnerships which the Trust would be unable to do without this important funding from Scottish Government. The diversity of this project brings benefits to both the environment and communities within the catchment.

For further information on the project and how to get assistance or support with water/land management to benefit the Allan Water then please get in touch with Lawrence Belleni, Allan Water Improvement Project Officer on 0131 445 1527 or l.belleni@fishforth.co.uk. More information also at http://www.fishforth.co.uk/…/allan-water-improvement-proje…/

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