River basin planning and flood risk management pilot catchments

We are delivering a funded pilot catchment project which aims to work with local landowners and land managers on a voluntary basis to demonstrate how we could combine improvements to river habitats, with measures that will help to reduce flood risk, whilst ensuring proper consideration of existing land use.

Project overview

The project is focused on five catchments across Scotland, enabling us to trial this approach in different geographic contexts:

  • River Dee
  • River South Esk
  • River Nith
  • Glazert Water (part of the River Kelvin catchment)
  • River Leven

Catchment selection followed a screening process which identified catchments subject to both flooding pressures and significant physical alterations, as well offering the potential to deliver wider benefits. The work has been divided into four phases with stakeholder engagement a fundamental element running throughout all phases. Consultants will be appointed at the start of each phase to deliver the project. Working with land managers and stakeholders and obtaining their voluntary support for measures delivery is essential for project success. We will work to ensure stakeholders are aware of the project and have the opportunity to get involved.

Project phase Includes Timescale
Pre-work  Catchment selection Now complete
Phase one Scoping opportunities for measures delivery

Feb – Oct 2013 (Dee, South Esk, Nith & Glazart)

Feb - Oct 2015 (Leven)

Phase two 

Detailed measures design and preparation for measures implementation

Oct 2013 – Mar 2015 (Dee, South Esk, Nith & Glazart)
Phase three Implementation of measures Apr 2015 – Mar 2016 (Dee, South Esk, Nith & Glazart)

At the end of the project we want to demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach, have a model which can be used in future projects, and use the findings to inform the future development of river basin and flood risk management plans.

Latest news

Phase 1 project summaries for the River Dee, River South Esk, River Nith and Glazart Water can be accessed below. These provide an overview of the approach followed to identify and prioritise opportunities for delivering improvements to river habitats whilst helping to reduce flood risk within these catchments. More detailed information can be found in the main catchment reports and appendices.

We are currently in discussion with landowners with regard to taking forward some sites to options appraisal and outline design. Our aim is to continue speaking with local landowners and land managers to see if there is any interest in developing implementation projects in other areas within the catchment.


Phase 1 summary





South Esk


Glazert Water


Project contact details

Catchment  SEPA lead

River Dee 

Eilidh Johnston 01738 452581
River South Esk Lynda Gairns 01786 452581
River Nith Lucie Stewart 01387 720502
Glazert Water Carla Ward 01698 839218
River Leven Shona McConnell 0131 2737326

If you have any questions on the project, please contact us.

Contact us

Please also contact us if you would like to receive future updates on these projects stating the catchment you are interested in.