Midlothian Esks Restoration Project

The River Esk (Midlothian) initially runs as two separate rivers, the North Esk and the South Esk.

The North Esk rises in the North Esk Reservoir in the Pentland Hills, in Midlothian, a mile (1½ km) north of the village of Carlops. It then flows north-east past Penicuik, Auchendinny, through Roslin Glen, past Hawthornden Castle, Polton, Lasswade and Melville Castle.

The South Esk rises at the southernmost extremity of Midlothian, on the western slopes of Blackhope Scar (the highest of the Moorfoot Hills). It then flows north through Gladhouse Reservoir and Rosebery Reservoir, and through the village of Temple, Midlothian, before receiving the Redside Burn close to Arniston House. It is joined by the Gore Water and then the Dalhousie Burn, just to the west of Newtongrange, before passing Newbattle Abbey and proceeding through Dalkeith.
The rivers converge just about 1 1⁄4 miles (2.0 km) north-east of Dalkeith at the edge of the grounds of Dalkeith Palace. From here the River Esk continues north for about 4 1⁄3 miles (7.0 km), skirting Inveresk, and flowing into the Firth of Forth at Musselburgh, East Lothian.

The Midlothian Esks Barrier Easement Project aims to look at a number of barriers on both the North and South Esk and to assess which barriers are causing the biggest impact on fish migration.

The overall aim of this project is to carry out a study that considers the thirteen impassable barriers to the passage of fish that are a priority on the North and South Esks and advises on the best option to be implemented.  This study will identify options for each of the barriers and provide a recommendation of the preferred method to ease the passage of all migratory fish and improve the in-channel habitat.

This project is the initial step in the implementation of measures to improve fish passage on the North and South Esk and therefore will provide a sound basis for the next stages, such as the outline and detailed design, and construction.

For more information on this project please contact the Trust.

*** Project Update***

Sadly SEPA has paused this project. We are working hard to persuade SEPA to continue with easing barriers on the Midlothian Esk but have not been able to do so as yet. If you would like to find out more about the project or email SEPA to encourage them to restart this project then please send all emails to restoration.proposals@sepa.org.uk . We are keen to know if others are trying to encourage SEPA to restart the project so please feel free to let us know at trust@fishforth.co.uk 


Midlothian Esks Barriers Project Phase 1 Report