River Ugie catchment

The River Ugie catchment lies in Aberdeenshire in north-east Scotland. The river originates in relatively low lying hills in the west of the catchment and discharges into the North Sea via the Ugie estuary.

The Ugie catchment is an intensively farmed rural catchment, predominantly used for intensive arable, mixed and livestock farming. Part of the Ugie is a Drinking Water Protected Area, but the drinking water supply is currently failing standards. A number of pesticides have been found and it has a history of such contamination.

A series of catchment walks took place throughout the Ugie catchment in early 2010.  

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;
  • issues relating to pesticide application and storage.

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.

In all, 223 rural diffuse pollution problems were noted. Also recorded were a number of examples of good practice, specifically fencing and buffer strips around cultivated areas.

SEPA is working with other organisations and stakeholders groups within the Ugie 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 Co-ordinator, Eddie Nicol, for further information by email or by calling 01343 547663.

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