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Esk Rivers Trust -Restoration of the Rottal Burn Glen Clova

Started by Wildfisher, August 31, 2012, 06:36:20 PM

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Restoration of the Rottal Burn Glen Clova - Canalised since the 1800s


The restoration of the Rottal burn is the largest and most exciting project the Trust has become involved in since our inception. We now have all the necessary permissions and funding for the project in place and hopefully work will have started on the site by the time this report is published.

Following initial work highlighted in last year's Annual Report, an options appraisal was undertaken to ensure that the most appropriate channel restoration course was selected.

The above option was chosen as being the most natural course and offering the best mix of spawning and juvenile habitats
Signs of the original channel can still be detected in places and are shown by the blue line in the photograph below. The canalised channel extends to a length of 800m while the new channel is 1.2km.

Restoration is being undertaken in two phases:

Phase1: The new channel will be created in April/May but not connected to either the Burn or the main river. The new stream bed will be created using the dredged material from the Rottal Burn's existing channel. The banks will be allowed to vegetate over the summer to provide a degree of stability before flows commence in the autumn. A riffle, pool and  glide sequence will be introduced by using large woody debris embedded into the banks.

Phase 2: Connection to the burn and main river will take place in the autumn after the channel has been flushed and straw bales deployed to retain sediment. A "fish rescue" will be undertaken immediately prior to the old channel being filled in.


The new channel (the lower section of the new channel is shown in the preceding photograph) will be monitored as it is expected to migrate to some degree. Limits however will be created by small flood banks and the use of natural features.

The objectives of the project are:

  • Restoration of the canalised water course as far as possible to its natural course
  • Reconnection of the Rottal Burn to its flood plain
  • Creation of a diverse riparian and aquatic habitat including the incorporation of the existing wetland habitat into the final restoration design
  • Reduction in the unnaturally high sediment loading during high flow events which is then deposited in the lower reaches
  • A return to a more natural flow regime
  • Attenuation of flood peaks
  • Visual enhancement of the area by planting native tree species
  • Restoration of  sustainable, functional populations of multi-sea-winter salmon and trout and of freshwater pearl mussels

  • The possibility of transferring freshwater pearl mussels into the burn will be investigated
  • Development of  a demonstration site available for future research
  • Provision of restoration experience will be transferable to other similar situations within the catchment
The whole project will cost in the region of £160,000 and is being funded by grants from The SEPA Restoration Fund. This is one of the largest river restoration projects undertaken for conservation reasons and is the largest funded by the SEPA Restoration Fund.

More information about the Esk Rivers Trust can be viewed here


There are plans to erect a board covered to explaining what has been done to reinstate the Rottle burn. Already a large number of birds are feeding in the new wet land area and a few took up nesting areas in the late spring.
Well with a look up if not now as it still looks a little new certainly in the spring next year.

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