Upper Avon Enhancement Project
Coal mining and, more recently, agriculture have put pressure on the upper river Avon near Slamannan. The straightening and dredging of the channel in the latter part of the 20th century is the most recent and most notable of these pressures (see maps). This has resulted in an incised, uniform channel with little flow diversity. Furthermore, the absence of trees and shrubs on the banks, partly due to collapsing stock fences resulting in increased grazing pressure, means that there is little riparian habitat diversity.
Over several years, the Slamannan Angling and Protective Association (SAPA) have carried out 4 phases of habitat improvement works on the upper river Avon. These phases have mainly involved the placement of boulders to increase flow diversity.
By working with local river stewards and land managers, the RiverLife team are adding to the work done by SAPA and mitigating some of the pressures on this part of the river. Green bank protection and habitat improvement works are carried out as part of workshops which equip volunteers with the skills to continue this kind of work in the future.
Habitat improvements and land management works include: the construction of new stock fencing, green bank protection, tree planting, drainage work and the installation of large woody debris.
Tree planting Two volunteers from Slamannan Angling and Protective Association and four from SNH planted 150 trees. Unpalatable and grazing resilient species (alder, downy birch, hawthorn and blackthorn) were planted without protection in an effort to reduce...