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
This summer we have been providing fisheries advice and undertaking fish rescues for the GNI pipeline which is travelling 50km from Cluden to Brighouse Bay to supply Ireland with gas (for further information please see here and here). In 2015 we undertook pre-work surveys on watercourses that the pipeline was set to cross. This year (construction year) we are carrying out fish rescues as well as post-work monitoring after works have been completed.
As well as many important fish bearing tributaries and coastal burns, the pipeline crosses three major rivers in the area we work: the River Urr, the Kirkcudbrightshire Dee and the Tarff Water. The Tarff crossing was completed earlier in the summer where we undertook a fish rescue, whilst the Dee was crossed recently using directional drilling so no fish rescue was required. We completed the fish rescue on the Urr last week. The fish rescue took over six hours and we removed over 2000 fish from the work site. These were salmon (572 fry and parr), trout (18 fry and parr), stoneloach (869), eels (52), minnows (574), three-spined sticklebacks (16) and juvenile lamprey (2). Work commenced after SEPA had given the go-ahead. During the crossing work a total of 16 large pumps were available for over-pumping the river. Work to complete the excavations and the laying of the pipe continued over the weekend. GFT visited the site yesterday and eight pumps were in use during the rising river water (we are not being blessed with very good weather this summer!). The settlement lagoons were active and doing their job well and silt fencing had been installed at the outflow from these to help prevent any silt laden water from directly entering the river (silt laden water from the excavation itself was kept separate from the clean river water and any clean water seepage from the upstream dam).
At this point the pipeline had been laid through the river and had been buried. Rock armour had been installed on the left bank and was in the process of being installed on the right bank. It was anticipated that the work would be completed that evening and the river reinstated to the channel.
We visited the site again early this morning and we were pleased to see the river back in the channel. The instream work was completed around 8pm last night and at this time all 16 pumps were active at various points due to the rising river water. River gravels had been put back in place on the river bed before the dam was removed. Rock armour had been installed on the right bank with the bank edge and top reinstated.
We are pleased that the instream work at the Urr crossing was completed successfully. We are due to undertake some post-work monitoring for all river crossings later in the season.