The Eddleston Water is a tributary of the Tweed which joins the main river at Peebles. Over the last few centuries the river and its catchment have been extensively changed, largely to improve agricultural production. Channelisation, land drainage and the creation of flood banks have led to a loss of natural habitats, such as wetlands and woodlands. This has reduced the ecological quality of the river system, and, together with climate change, increased the risk of flooding downstream in Eddleston and Peebles.
A partnership of local and national organisations are investigating the desirability and practicality of restoring natural habitats throughout the whole catchment in order to bring about a variety of social, economic and environmental benefits. This group, coordinated by Tweed Forum, includes the Scottish Government, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Dundee University, Scottish Borders Council, National Farmers’ Union of Scotland, the British Geological Survey, the Forestry Commission, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Tweed Foundation and the Environment Agency of England and Wales.
The main aim is to investigate if changes to land use management and the restoration of natural habitats can help improve the river valley for wildlife and help to reduce the risk of flooding in Eddleston and Peebles.
Specifically, we are:
• demonstrating the multiple benefits and the ecosystem services that would be provided by restoring natural habitats at the catchment scale.....read more
• working with local communities, landowners, and other organisations to ensure the proposals deliver multiple benefits and meet their requirements.....read more
• helping to adapt to the effects of climate change on flood flows.....read more
• investigating to what extent restoring the ecological status of the river and promoting land management changes can contribute to reducing flood risk.....read more
• working with local schools through the Curriculum for Excellence to raise awareness of flooding in the area and encourage pupils and teachers to take an active part in the project and learn about their catchment.....read more
• looking at how the government’s River Basin Management Planning process can work in reality alongside their new framework for Flood Risk Management ; and
• examining the opportunities and barriers to changing behaviour and to implementing such measures, in particular the effectiveness of agri-environment incentives to bring about the required action on the ground.
Project publications and links
A number of reports with details of progress can be found here. These include:
• the initial scoping study carried out by Dundee University that assessed the status of the river, the potential for restoration and how the various facets could be measured
• a leaflet outlining the main aims of the project
• a report modelling the main river from Eddleston to Peebles, which assesses the opportunities and efficacy for restoration and flood attenuation at a number of key sites
• a detailed design for restoration of the river at Darnhall, one of the potential sites
• a report on the surface water monitoring network
• a report on historical (ca. 1750-1860) modifications to the Eddleston Water and its tributaries (Apr 2012)
• a research poster looking at how flood flows and ecosystems services might change after natural flood management measures are in place
• British Geological Survey have detailed information on their outputs here
Some presentations from project meetings are also available:
• Eddleston Hydrometric Network - latest update (Feb 2012)
• Eddleston Water Tributary Modelling (Feb 2012)
For further information, please contact:
Luke Comins (Project Manager, Tweed Forum) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Chris Spray (Dundee University) – email@example.com
Roy Richardson (SEPA) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Debi Graft (Scottish Govt) - Debi.Garft@scotland.gsi.gov.uk