After years of complaints about cattle accessing the River Doon at Holms Farm, with financial assistance from the River Doon DSFB and more than a little input from SEPA and the Trust, we managed to secure agreements to fence off two fields creating good buffer strips and excluding cattle from grazing and access to the river. In all around 275m of fencing has been installed.

Cattle poaching was a historic problem in this area....now a thing of the past

Cattle poaching was a historic problem in this area….now a thing of the past

This erosion will soon revegetate and stabilise. Silt will be reduced downstream

This erosion will soon revegetate and stabilise. Silt will be reduced downstream

Periodic light grazing at the end of the summer will stop the buffers developing rank vegetation, excluding cattle reduces bacterial failures in bathing waters (SEPA’s main driver) and diffuse pollution (our main driver) so everyone is a winner. The farmer complies with legal requirements and anglers get improved bank side vegetation (great for native biodiversity and wild flower species)¬†and improved water quality which in turn benefits juvenile salmonid production and macro invertebrates (fish food). A few strategically planted trees would help improve this further but all in all a good result.

Good buffers created by fencing the Dooking Pool

Good buffers created by fencing the Dooking Pool

In time, the landowner may agree to fence the next field downstream which would also be a great benefit but in the meantime, I think this has been a step in the right direction.

All good but perhaps a few more trees strategically planted would help to provide a shaded lie or two and add character to this stretch. Leaf litter particularly from Alders breaks down quickly and supports macro invertebrates.

All good but perhaps a few more trees strategically planted would help to provide a shaded lie or two and add character to this stretch. Leaf litter particularly from Alders breaks down quickly and supports macro invertebrates.

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