Looking downstream on the River Cree
Looking upstream on the River Bladnoch
Felling of commercial forestry in Galloway Forest Park
Looking upstream on the River Luce
North American Signal Crayfish
The sandy beach at Loch Grannoch
Belted Galloway Cattle, or 'Belties'
Fly fishing on the River Cree
A small upland burn
The High Cree, looking towards Cairnsmore of Fleet
A small waterfall on the Buchan Burn
A salmon from the Kirkcudbrightshire Dee
The Border Esk catchment is an important river system for many fish species including the migratory European eel, lamprey, Atlantic salmon and Sea trout. It is known that there are many man-made barriers on many of the spawning and nursery burns which are limiting the available habitat which these fish species can utilise. A joint partnership project was started in 2011 between the Environment Agency, Esk & Liddle Improvement Association (ELIA) and Galloway Fisheries Trust. The project has two main phases as detailed below:
Phase 1: The three organisations will survey all the numerous tributaries which flow into the upper Border Esk (particularly White Esk and Black Esk) and map any man-made barriers which are considered full or partial barriers to migratory fish. Likely man-made barriers which are expected to be found include Irish bridges, dams or weirs and poorly designed culverts or fords. Each of the barriers will be surveyed and an assessment made of the potential upstream habitat which would be available if the barrier was removed or modified to make each more ‘fish friendly’. The barriers will be prioritised dependent on: 1) how easily they could be ‘improved’; 2) the approximate cost for improvements and 3) the likely environmental benefits. The barriers will also need to be assessed using the SNIFFER Barrier Assessment Tool which became active in 2011. GFT staff have attended a training course to use this assessment.
Phase 2: It is envisaged that a three year work programme will start to address the manmade barriers identified in the phase 1 work. Funding of at least £150,000 will need to be sourced before it can proceed.