The catchments within the River Forth District Area cover an area greater than 3600km2 and a total river length of 2880km.  At 104km, the Forth is the seventh longest river in Scotland. The area can be split into a number of distinct sub catchment areas:

The catchment basin rises in the north-western part of the area which is part of the Loch Lomand and Trossachs National Park and contains the slopes of mountains Ben More and Ben Lomond, and the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and flows as River Forth and Teith into the Estuary at Stirling. The headwaters are dominated by heather moorland, coniferous and semi-natural woodland with some agricultural activity, and a number of lochs including Lochs Ard, Venacher, Achray, Katrine and Voil. In the middle and lower reaches land use is predominantly agriculture (particularly arable farming), along with urbanised areas such as Stirling and Alloa. Others rivers also discharge into the estuary in this vicinity, being Allan Water, Bannock Burn, Devon and Black Devon. There are a number of designated areas in the Forth catchment, including Sites of Special Scientific

A number of other river flow directly into the estuary including Rivers Carron, Avon, Almond, Water of Leith and Biel Water, Tyne, Esk (North and South) and Leven.  In addition smaller water bodies flow through Coastal Areas directly into the Estuary.

The Forth catchment crosses the boundaries of nine District Councils: Fife, Perth and Kinross, Clackmannanshire, Stirling, Falkirk, West Lothian, City of Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian, and is home to 28% of Scotland’s human population (2005 figures).

The river and its tributaries are slowly recovering from centuries of detrimental human impact, the major legacies of which are pollution, obstructions, alterations to natural water flow and physical alterations to the river banks and beds. The Forth catchment is home to 28 species of freshwater fish and supports valuable fisheries for salmon, trout, grayling and coarse fish. A total of 10 non-native species are now known to be established in the District.


Biel Water (1) Almond (5) Teith (9)
Tyne (2) Avon (6) Allan (10)
Esk’s (North & South) (3) Carron (7) Devon (11)
Water of Leith (4) Forth (8) Black Devon (12)
Leven (13) Coastal (14)