Forth multiple benefits project

Delivering multiple benefits through river basin management planning – Forth multiple benefits project

In April 2011, SEPA, Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage, together with the Central Scotland Green Network Support Unit, commissioned JBA Consulting to undertake a spatial analysis within the Forth sub-basin district to identify areas with opportunities for water environment restoration projects which could deliver multiple benefits.

The key aim of the project was to identify sites which, if restored, would improve the ecological status of the water body by addressing river basin planning pressures and assessing where the restoration would also strengthen and increase connectivity of woodland, wetland and grassland integrated habitat networks. However, the wider benefits associated with a restored and healthy water environment were also considered within this project.

The initial analysis identified 391 individual opportunities across the Forth sub-basin district, with multiple opportunities often found within small reaches of a river or within part of a catchment. These areas were discussed at a stakeholder workshop in August 2011. Multi criteria analysis was then applied to these areas which enabled them to be ranked according to the multiple benefits which could be derived through restoration.

Four sites were then taken forward to scope out the key on-the-ground restoration opportunities which could be delivered:

  • Braid Burn (Edinburgh)
  • Boghead Burn (West Lothian)
  • Kennoway Burn/Back Burn (Fife)
  • Black Devon (Clackmannanshire)

Project reports

The project methodology, detailed site reports, list of individual opportunity areas and spatial information can be found in the table below.

Project outputs 
Project methodology and output report 24 mb
Braid Burn report 20mb
Boghead Burn 13 mb
Kennoway Burn/Back Burn report 13 mb
Black Devon report 13 mb
List of 391 opportunity areas which can be filtered by catchment or local authority area 122 kb

Working with key local partners, the project steering group is now using the information in the scoping reports to develop projects which will deliver the on-the-ground improvements identified within these discrete areas.

The project steering group is also keen to encourage other land and water managers to consider the wider opportunity areas when taking forward their own plans and projects e.g. green network strategies, biodiversity action plans, and local development plans.

Please use the opportunity mapping information within the table to help identify where opportunity areas coincide with current and future projects you know about or are involved in. Come and talk to us if the scope of your work could be widened to deliver multiple objectives for the water environment.

For further information, please contact us.