River Tay catchment
The River Tay catchment is over
5000km2, with the River Tay itself flowing 193km from
its source at Ben Lui into the Firth of Tay just beyond Perth.
Only the lower reaches of the River Tay
however have been designated a priority
catchment for targeted action to address diffuse pollution
sources. The priority
catchment area includes the River Tay from Ballinluig to Perth,
the River Almond, the River Isla and many of its tributaries, as
well as the Lunan Lochs chain and the Loch of Lintrathen. In many
of these areas, diffuse pollution impacts are being found in both
the surface and groundwaters.
Catchment walk surveys
As part of efforts to improve water quality in
the River Tay priority catchment, our staff walked approximately
1000 km of the river and its tributaries during 2010 and
2011. The focus of this work was to collect information on
diffuse pollution sources, notably, breaches of the Diffuse Pollution General Binding Rules (DP
The results from these surveys are still being
compiled, however the main diffuse pollution issues found related
to livestock poaching or erosion within five metres of a river or
burn and land being cultivated within two metres of a river or burn
(DP GBR’s 19 and 20 respectively).
As well as collecting information on diffuse
sources of pollution, the surveys also recorded issues relating
- septic tanks and other point source pressures;
- the presence of invasive non-native species such as Giant
hogweed and Himalayan balsam;
- the presence of structures such as dams and weirs, bank
protection and alterations to the natural shape of the river e.g.
channel straightening or dredging.
1:1 farm visits
SEPA is planning to start 1:1 farm visits in
the catchment in October 2012. Further awareness raising events for
both land managers and advisors will be organised in advance of
catchment steering group
An informal stakeholder group has been set up
to help steer the work that is being carried out by SEPA in the
catchment. This group includes representatives from the following
SEPA is also in the process of setting up a
number of farmer-led sub-groups,
the first of which will focus on the arable/potato growing
SEPA is hosting an event for agricultural
advisors, consultants and contractors on Thursday 26th July 2012 at
office (Strathearn House) for agricultural advisors,
consultants and contractors.
This event is primarily aimed at (but not
limited to) those working within the River Tay and River South Esk
diffuse pollution priority catchments. There will be a series of
presentations, followed by time for questions and discussion. It’s
an opportunity for you to find out about the work that SEPA is
doing in relation to diffuse pollution and what this means for you.
The outline of the morning will be roughly as follows:
|| Tea/coffee on arrival
|| The rural diffuse pollution plan for Scotland
|| Interpretation of the diffuse pollution GBR’s
|| What to expect from the 1:1 farm visits
For interest in this event or for further
information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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