Catchment management

The work we undertake on catchment management aims to balance the requirements of the landowner for farming, forestry and sporting activities with natural systems for controlling runoff and river flow regimes.

The management techniques for controlling runoff and river flows in upland catchments include the restoration of natural wetlands, enhancement of small lakes (lochans), blocking artificial drains, construction of reservoirs, diversion of small watercourses, restoration of natural meanders, introduction of large woody debris into the river channel, creation of leaky barriers over the floodplain and riparian ground and the restoration of eroding channel banks.

Prescriptions of measures need to be introduced throughout the catchment to ensure the controls are effective during different weather types, they are self maintaining, using natural processes and making “little and often changes” to the runoff.

Surveys are undertaken throughout the catchment to compile a list of all opportunities for catchment management. These are discussed with the landowner to ensure other interests in the catchment are not affected and then detailed surveys carried out for all of the selected sites. The survey results are inserted into a catchment model of runoff and river flows to test the effectiveness of the prescription of measures and fine tune the proposed work.

Work is carried out to implement the plans throughout the catchment. Some maintenance is likely in the first 2 years but after that the systems should be self-maintaining.