Buffer strips

Diffuse Pollution (DP) is defined as pollution that arises from geographically dispersed sources. Individual sources may be minor but collectively can have a large impact on a water course.

Diffuse Pollution (DP) is defined as pollution that arises from geographically dispersed sources. Individual sources may be minor (i.e. there is no single point source) but collectively can have a large impact on a water course. For example, sheet run off from fields inputs a large amount of sediment into the river and surface water drains in urban areas collectively contribute significant DP. Types of DP include silt/soil, farm chemicals (e.g. pesticides), organic wastes (slurry, silage), fertilisers, oil/fuel from road surface, contaminated road dust, road salt and de-icers, sewer leakage and domestic products from drains.

One of the key remedies for DP on the Dee is the creation of buffer strips between exisitng land use- eg a farmers field with cattle and the river. Fencing alongside the watercourse – to create a ‘buffer strip’ section between the land and the stream  and helps  maintain the correct water quality required for spawning salmon 


The PIP Project is active in the middle reaches of the catchment with a target of creating 45 km of buffer strips. The first round of 11 km was installed on the Tarland Burn in 2014. Applications for funding from the Government’s SRDP scheme have been made and they are currently awaiting assessment. These applications will deliver 15 km of buffer strip on the Dinnet, Dess and Tarland tributaries. The timescale for these works are to award contracts in January 2016 with installation completed in spring 2016. The PIP project officers, Steff Ferguson and Flora Grigor-Taylor, who are employed by RAFTS and based in the River Office, have been developing these applications through directly working as agents for farmers and land owners, or by collaboratively working with other agents. 

 



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