Easter Beltie Restoration Nears Completion

October 07, 2020

Restoration of 1.5 km of the river channel that was previously canalised to accommodate the Deeside railway in 1860, is nearing completion. The work has been focussed on the recreation of channel meanders and the reconnection of the channel to wetland. The Easter Beltie work marks the culmination of the Board's efforts to boost the habitat, which first began fifteen years ago via the CASS Life project, which produced a short term solution by adding large boulders in an attempt to boost the habitat for fish.

The project application was brought together by the Dee Catchment Partnership, supported by the skills and experience of Dee Fishery Board staff who have an excellent track record in habitat restoration work. The team have provided an important role, working with contractors to help bring the design to life.

River Operations Manager Edwin Third, who helped bring the project to fruition has been on-site as the Ecological Clerk Of Works throughout the project said, "The channels are now complete and the wetlands are nearly there and are presently being roughed out and dug to their final depth. Once done, these will be connected to the Beltie. The canalisation left us with very poor habitat but thanks to the excellent design by CBEC Eco Engineering the works have helped restore complexity to the habitat. Natural wetlands are ideal habitats for aquatic insects and are in effect a larder for young fish and I am very excited about the future spawning potential for this area."