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The River Calder Restoration Project

    This project was supported by the NatureScot Biodiversity Challenge Fund.

    The River Calder, an upland tributary of the Spey, is undergoing a transformation. An ambitious, landscape scale project to restore native riparian woodland was delivered in 2021/2022 and aims to establish up to 15 hectares of riparian woodland along 3.5 km of the Calder. This project complements another project delivered in 2020 which introduced Large Woody Structures into the river channel. (LINK)

    This project is an example of using nature-based solutions to future-proof against the impacts of climate change while significantly expanding and improving habitat for aquatic and terrestrial species. The approach included installing deer fencing, planting native trees, and promoting natural regeneration.

    As our summers continue to get hotter, more woodland along our river banks is going to be essential to safeguard threatened species which are susceptible to heat stress and even heat-induced mortality, such as Atlantic salmon and trout. The shade provided by the new woodland will help to regulate water temperature, and bankside trees along with deadwood in the river will create cooler refuge areas for fish to escape to in peak temperature conditions.

    Woodland can act as a sponge during heavy rainfall, holding water for longer in this upland glen and smoothing out peak flows. This contributes to reducing the risk of flooding downstream, protecting land and communities along the Spey.

    Learn more about this project

    Deep dive into this project by downloading the full project report below.