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.
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.
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.