Eye Water catchment

About the catchment

From its source at Dod Hill until reaching the coast at Eyemouth, the Eye Water runs through land that is used predominantly for agriculture. It has a catchment area of 120 km2.  The priority catchment also includes the watercourses draining to Pease Bay, namely the Cockburnspath Burn and Pease Burn/Tower Burn, which are part of the Berwick coastal catchment.

Catchment walks took place between 2008 and May 2010. 268 rural diffuse pollution problems were noted during the course of these walks. Over 95% of these were relating to the keeping of livestock.

The main issues encountered during the catchment walks were:

  • livestock causing significant poaching of land within five metres of a watercourse: a breach of Diffuse Pollution General Binding Rule (DP GBR) 19;,
  • cultivation within two metres of a watercourse: a breach of DP GBR 20.

Data was also collected on the location and abundance of non-native invasive plant species such as giant hogweed, Himalayan balsam, rhododendron and Japanese knotweed.

A number of examples of good practice, specifically either fencing or buffer strips around cultivated areas, were also recorded.

SEPA is working with other organisations and groups within the Eye catchment to raise awareness of the DP GBRs and the findings of the catchment walks. Details of future events will be posted on this website.

In summer 2011, SEPA officers will be undertaking a series of one-to-one visits with individual landowners to discuss the issues relating to diffuse pollution. Appointments will be made with land managers before these visits are carried out.

Please contact the SEPA catchment coordinator Will Dryburgh if you require any further information or call 01896 754797.   

Leaflets and guidance
Diffuse pollution (GBR) leaflets
 DP GBR 18: Storage and application of fertilisers pdf link (2mb)
 DP GBR 19: Keeping of livestock pdf link (2mb)
 DP GBR 20: Cultivation of land pdf link (2.5mb)

 DP GBR 23: Application of pesticidepdf link (1.5mb)   

 DP GBR 24: Operation of sheep dipping  facilities pdf link (4mb)
 DP GBR: Forestrypdf link (1.5mb)
 DP GBRs Explained pdf link (2mb)
 Priority Catchments pdf link (876k)
Septic tanks
Stables and livery yards pdf link (2.5 mb)
Dumb Dumpers