Catchment Management Plan 2017 – 2021 Evaluation
Woodland expansion that complements integrated catchment management improves habitat, biodiversity, and woodland networks, as well as reducing runoff, stabilising banks and contributing to good water quality. Riparian tree planting has expanded greatly throughout the catchment with 18,500 trees planted as part of SCI projects creating diverse woodland habitat corridors at Kinchurdy on the Spey (4.5 km), the River Calder (2.6 km) and the River Trium (3.5 km), and 1000+ trees planted by Tomintoul and Glenlivet Partnership.
Woodland creation by landowners and farmers has also increased, with the Scottish Agricultural College working with farmers to identify and realise woodland creation options. Woodland creation and restoration has been supported by Scottish Forestry, Sustainable Management of Forests and the CNPA Forest Strategy 2018 through approvals and grants. Aspen stands are being mapped throughout the catchment by the CNPA and an innovative technique for tree protection, ‘hedgehog staking’, was trialled at the Truim.
Riparian trees planted in deer fenced enclosures on the River Calder are taking hold, and there are encouraging signs of more trees regenerating naturally on both banks.
SCI with help from the Woodland Trust are trialling ‘hedgehog staking’ to see if the technique discourages deer from entering riparian enclosures and browsing newly planted trees on the river banks.
Ten years after it was deer fenced, the flood plain of the Allt Lorgy is now well wooded with both planted and naturally regenerated trees and shrubs.
Protecting the river banks from grazing animals not only allows trees to grow but also encourages a much more diverse range of riparian herbaceous vegetation – good habitat lots of wildlife including butterflies and other invertebrates.