Originally built in the mid-19th century, the weir provided water to Livingston Mill, now Almond Valley Heritage Centre, to process corn and wheat via a long lade which still exists to this day.
The two-metre-high structure slowed water flowing East along the River Almond, from the Almond Pools, and directed a small proportion along the thin lade to fill mill ponds 400 meters downstream. From here a series of sluices were used to control the speed of a 4.9 metre high wheel which powered the mill.
Unfortunately, many fish species find it difficult, if not impossible, to pass this barrier meaning much of the breeding habitat upstream remains unavailable. Salmon, sea trout, brown trout, eel and lamprey all rely on a clear path up the river to mate and lay their eggs and barriers such as weirs stop that from happening. Allowing fish easier access to these parts of the river will not only benefit those species but will also benefit those larger predators which rely on them as a food source, such as heron, kingfishers and otters.
The construction of the new fish pass was recorded using fixed point photography and time-lapse footage.
Where can I see it?
From the River Almond walkway, upstream from the Almond Valley Heritage Centre, the new larinier fish pass can be viewed from a platform near the AVHC railway station. It is a great place to have a picnic and spot wildlife, with otters commonly seen downstream of the fish pass.
Work on Kirkton fish pass was completed during 2017.
Read all the blog updates on the Kirkton Weir project