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Delliefure Burn

    of river restored

    Large Woody Structures installed

    Of flood plane reconnected and restored

    Project delivery timline

    Project Summary

    Situated on the north side of the Spey, about four miles downstream from Grantown-on-Spey, Delliefure Burn is a small tributary that had seen significant degradation due to historical agricultural practices. A stretch of approximately 330m of the burn was artificially straightened and confined with embankments, disconnecting the watercourse from its flood plain and limiting its ecological diversity. The project, conducted from Spring to September 2021, aimed to restore this degraded system, enhance the local habitat, and fortify natural defenses against climate change.

    Our Goals and Objectives

    • Re-establish water-logging of peaty soils to improve carbon storage.
    • Encourage particulate and nutrient deposition on the flood plain, enhancing organic carbon storage.
    • Expand wetland and wet grassland habitat.
    • Store flood water on the flood plain during high flows, reducing peak flows and mitigating flood risks downstream.
    • Retain water in wetland areas, acting as a reservoir to replenish the burn and counter low flows during drought conditions.
    • Revive natural river processes within the burn by installing Large Wood Structures, increasing morphological features and enhancing in-channel structural and habitat diversity.

    How we delivered this project

    The Delliefure Burn project was started in the spring and works concluded in September 2021. The project involved lowering of embankment sections to encourage flood flows to overtop on to the flood plain more frequently, and the creation of new habitats both within the watercourse and on the flood plain.

    Innovative techniques, such as Large Wood Structure (LWS) placement, were employed to jumpstart natural physical processes and spur morphological evolution within the burn. All project activities were carried out in harmony with on-going farm activities and in agreement with the tenant farmer and landowners.

    The Project Impact

    • Increased in channel ecological and habitat diversity: The project will enhance the structural diversity within the burn, creating more pools, riffles, and shingle banks to better support a diversity of species.
    • Mitigated climate change effects: The enhancements will play a vital role in mitigating detrimental effects of storm and drought events, predicted to become more frequent due to climate change.
    • Bolstered flood plain  biodiversity: The newly formed wetlands provide high-quality habitat for wildlife, including invertebrates, amphibians, birds, and wetland plants.

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    Project Location


    Our Amazing Project Partners

    We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our partners, The Macallan and the Cairngorms National Park Authority, who provided invaluable funding support for this project. We would also like to thank Seafield and Tulchan Estates and the tenant farmer for their cooperation and support.

    The Cairngorms National Park Authority Co-funded this project.

    The Macallan Co-funded this project.

    Seafield Estate ….

    Tulchan Estate ….

    View the full project report

    Contact us for more information

    For further inquiries, collaboration , or additional information about the project, please contact: Penny Lawson, SCI Project Officer – penny,