The historic weirs of Ayrshire, and by that I mean relics of a past age of no particular interest to anyone and serving no useful purpose in the 21st Century, are slowly succumbing to the ravages of time and lack of maintenance. Another obstacle to fish passage has partially undermined in recent days following the relentless scouringĀ of high water all winter. The weir in question is located in the centre of Newmilns behind a redundant mill building.

I've filmed salmon repeatedly trying to ascend this weir unsuccessfully in the past. Lets hope by the time they reach this point on their migration  in 2016, they can swim past it unhindered.

I’ve filmed salmon repeatedly trying to ascend this weir unsuccessfully in the past. Lets hope by the time they reach this point on their migration in 2016, they can swim past it unhindered.

I can’t say I’m in any way disappointed as this was one of 14 existing weirs on the Irvine that caused problems for salmon and trout migration for the last 100+ years. It still may be a problem and how it’s demise continues will be interesting to watch. I only hope that no one steps in in an attempt to repair the redundant and offensive structure. There’s no immediate danger to anyone or any property that’s obvious so the continual erosion caused by water flowing under the concrete lintel may soon open up a much larger hole. I hope so before anyone gets any misguided ideas to repair it. Ownership was linked to the empty mill on the right bank that was Moonweave I believe. With no routine maintenance of the structure taking place and no owners readily available to repair it, it may just crumble into the river over the coming months and free salmon and trout passage will be restored.

The river no longer flows over the lintel having cut it's way under. Over the last few days the flow through the gap has increased and the hole is enlarging.

The river no longer flows over the lintel having cut it’s way under. Over the last few days the flow through the gap has increased and the hole is enlarging. The entire crest is undermined and the whole structure is likely to collapse in time.

Another view of the crest of the weir.

Another view of the crest of the weir.

I will watch with interest.

Share →

2 Responses to Weir Undermined

  1. Random22 says:

    Nominated directly to Buildings At Risk register for Scotland, thank you. We have to save these weirs, not just as part of our heritage but as a vital part of engaging children with wildlife. Watching the salmon and trout “loup” the weirs and dams is an essential part of it. We’ll lose a lot if that isn’t the case.

    • Stuart Brabbs says:

      What nonsense and I hope it’s away quickly. Scotland’s natural heritage has an iconic species and thats the Atlantic Salmon and it is in greater need of assistance now than ever. Thankfully, the Scottish Government supports the removal of weirs for environmental benefit. Saving an eyesore such as that for no possible benefit would be madness considering there are already so many existing on the Irvine where salmon can be seen leaping if people wish. Another reason to remove weirs that you probably don’t appreciate is that they are a visual attraction to poachers and often poaching backstops. The sooner all redundant weirs are removed, the better.