Habitat Restoration and Maintenance Update

December 09, 2019

Work is progressing on projects funded by the Biodiversity Challenge Fund (BCF), running from July 2019 – September 2020:

  • Gairn - Large Woody Structures to create habitat have been installed at 30 locations, covering over 3 km of river.
  • Glen Muick - Installation of fencing for 15 new small tree enclosures and a large 10ha native riparian woodland compartment is underway (fencing completed, planting scheduled for spring 2020).
  • Mainstem Dee near Crathie. Fencing and tree planting contracts awarded to install fencing and exclude livestock from 1.6km of river.
  • Tree planting in various locations – 2150 trees – contract awarded.
  • Glen Feardar: 70 new small tree enclosures – fencing tender awarded.
  • On behalf of the Dee Catchment Partnership (DCP), we are delivering a 1.5 km restoration project on the Beltie burn (funded by a second BCF award). At present, detailed designs are being prepared.


  • On behalf of the Dee Catchment Partnership (DCP), we are delivering a 1.5 km restoration project on the Beltie burn (funded by a second BCF award). At present, detailed designs being prepared and we are liaising with Scottish Forestry regarding alterations to existing Forestry Grant Scheme on site.


The Cairngorm National Park Authority (CNPA) offered a £5000 grant to the Dee DSFB for trialling ‘mob/saturation’ planting on upper tributaries. The plan is to use relatively unpalatable alder trees and plant hard-to-reach spots along target burns. 11,000 trees have been purchased for this project and are at present stored in farm buildings with kind permission of Dinnet Estate, prior to planting this winter.

Work has been ongoing to link up existing small tree enclosures to facilitate additional tree planting, including a volunteer planting day on 20 November when volunteers planted over 500 trees on the Gairn. To date over 60 links have been implemented on the Gairn and Ey, allowing a further 2000 trees to be planted.

Through the BCF projects, CNPA grant, in-house linkage of existing enclosures and support from company CNOOC, we will plant a total of 25,000 trees this winter/spring season on tributaries of the Dee. We also have a large application for riparian woodland creation through Forestry Grant Scheme (~40ha) on Allt an Dubh-loch, Glen Muick, the outcome of which should be known before Christmas.

Support and liaison is ongoing for agri-environment proposals/contracts on mid-Dee farms, with arrangements now made for buffer strip fencing to protect a further 2 km of river banks. Two farms have received additional funding from SNH, following the end of the CASS LIFE project, to install an additional ~1300m water margin fencing and replace instream waterings with troughs. Contracts have been awarded and installation of infrastructure has commenced.

Field monitoring for the nutrient additions trial on the upper Muick has been completed, data on algae, fish and aquatic insects has all been collected. Results will be analysed over the winter. Collection of deer legs has already begun for next season.