By Jonathan Louis
Callander Landscape Partnership
The Callander Landscape Partnership is a diverse project which has been developed over the past few years by community members and organisation in the Callander area to improve and restore Callanders natural and built heritage. The Partnership is made up of 15 partners who include Callander Community Council. Callander Community Development Trust, Calanders Countryside, Callander Heritage and District Society, Callander Ramblers, Callander Youth Project, Drumardoch Estate, Facilitating Access Breaking Barriers (FABB), Forestry Commission Scotland, Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, Mclaren Leisure Centre, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Stirling Council and the River Forth Fisheries Trust.
Each partner is leading on a different aspect of the project with the Trust leading on the delivery of river based learning and projects to improve the natural heritage of callanders rivers. This exciting partnership will see three main projects being delivered on the ground to help rivers and the wildlife that use them. The three projects are; Leny Burn Riparian Improvement Project, Garbh Uisige Brash Bank Protection and the Aquatic Learning and Conservation Centre.
Leny Burn Riparian Improvement Project
A project looking to improve the last remaining unfenced section of the Leny burn. The Leny burn is an important spawning tributary and working with the landowner, the burn will be fully fenced with an increase of riparian trees along the length of the burn. As browsing of vegetation is important, a grazing regime will be devised and livestock will be allowed into the edge of the burn to help manage vegetation.
Garbh Uisge Brash Bank Protection
The Garbh Uisge Brash Bank Protection will look to work the the Little Leny Wet Meadow project to help slow down the erosion on a section of the Garbh Uisge. A bend in the river is starting to erode and if left the natural processes of the river will eat into important wet meadow habitat. The Trust will lead on the installation of environmentally friendly bank protection using brash and willow to help stabalise the bank. Trees will also be planted along the top of the bank to increase root structures within the ground and increase riparian woodland. This work will support wildlife, especially fish by providing cover in-stream and protect wet meadow habitat.
Aquatic Learning and Conservation Centre
To conserve aquatic wildlife and promote the knowledge and awareness of the different species within rivers and lochs, it is proposed to create an Aquatic Learning and Conservation Centre on the outskirts of Callander. The centre will be created as a place to engage people with different wildlife in rivers but also as a place to help conserve species such as freshwater pearl mussels and arctic char. Initially though the centre will help produce fish eggs for the Trusts fish in the classroom project. it is important that the trust uses fish eggs suited to the rivers in the Forth as currently the supply of eggs comes from a hatchery in England. By having a facility to produce eggs from fish within the Forth it means that the genetic strains in the rivers can be preserved and not diluted by fish from other parts of the country. The centre will also be opened at times to groups to visit and learn about the work being undertaken and will be an important engagement tool to teach people about rivers.
On top of the three main projects the trust will deliver a range of engagement activities such as;
- Fish in the classroom
- Introduction to angling
- Inns training/ID workshop
- Scale collection/reading workshop
- Angling instructor training
- Redd survey training
At the moment the partnership are currently waiting to hear back from the Heritage Lottery Fund to see if they are willing to fund the project. We should hopefully hear back in March on whether the project has secured funding to proceed to the delivery stage.