We are still continuing with erecting riparian fencing as and when our fencer is available.

Riparian fencing can make all the difference to water and habitat quality and the images below illustrate just how effective it can be.

By excluding livestock, bank stability improves, poaching (cattle and sheep) reduces and water quality improves. There no doubt about the impact that livestock has on spawning burns and in the worst affected areas, spawning may cease altogether after years of decline and poor survival.

One of the first fences we erected recently was on the Drumgrange burn near Patna. This burn was in poor condition and banks were eroding badly. Sheep were the main culprit and they had unlimited access to the burn. While the landowner agreed to fencing, he wanted to retain a small watering point and although we’d rather have fenced the burn entirely, we agreed to accommodate this request. The results are illustrated below and show a significant change. Lets hope this transpires into more salmon and trout in the years ahead. We will be monitoring recover and update this as and when the data is available.

Severe erosion driven by unrestricted livestock access. Water quality was poor and fish numbers low.

Severe erosion driven by unrestricted livestock access. Water quality was poor and fish numbers low. The fence had just been erected when the photo was taken last spring.

The same view just over a year later and what a complete transformation! We have yet to monitor fish numbers and it may be a bit soon to look for substantial recovery but I'm sure it will happen in time.

The same view just over a year later and what a complete transformation! We have yet to monitor fish numbers and it may be a bit soon to look for substantial recovery but I’m sure it will happen in time.

Mixed native hardwood trees have been planted within the buffers and are doing fine. They will add shade and leaf litter as they develop.

 

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