Our fencer, Jim Thompson has now completed two contracts for us and the Doon Board this year. The Macmanniston stretch on the main river has been completed and we will agree a final measure on this next week and post some photos here. The second stretch was on the Culroy near Sauchrie which Jim and his team finished today.
These two stretches amount to over 1300m of riverbank fencing and we still have another short stretch to complete shortly. That’s got to be good news for fish and water quality. The Culroy burn at Sauchrie has now been fenced on both banks and at last the silt inputs that plague the burn downstream will start reducing. Later this year we will plant a few trees within the fences to provide some shade and eventually woody debris.
Water quality should improve and bacteria and faecal matter should no longer enter the watercourse from this stretch. Fish habitat will improve as the fine silt clears downstream. Eventually the burn should narrow as the marginal plants develop and this will cause deepening. Deep pool habitat should increase and hopefully this stretch will be able to retain water all year round eventually. Currently in drought periods, the burn shrinks to nothing and water flows through gravel deposits rather than over them. The image blow illustrates this problem. The weir held back gravel and increased the depth of these deposits to such an extent that the water flowed through the gravel rather than over it in low flow conditions. The first job was to remove this weir as it was redundant and an unnecessary obstacle in the burn. This was done with SEPA’s prior approval. Sediment transport has been restored and the burn has cut down into these deposits in the three or four spates that followed removal. This may continue for some time.
These fences were part funded by the Doon DSFB and is an excellent use of the levies collected from riparian owners and anglers. Any landowners within the Doon catchment that would like us to consider their stretch for grant aid of up to 40% of the total fence costs, then get in touch with Muir or Stuart at the Trust and one of us will see if we can help.