SEPA has been working with partner organisations to prepare a draft supplementary plan for the River Basin Management Plans on ‘Improving the physical condition of Scotland’s water environment’.  Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government Minister for Environment and Climate Change, recently launched the consultation document and announced funding for pilot catchment projects.

The aim of the plan is to promote delivery of long term, catchment wide improvements to the physical condition of Scotland’s water environment.  These improvements will benefit habitats, enhance the recreational value of the water environment, and help to manage flood risk.  The plan sets out an approach to prioritising and promoting delivery of improvements in rural, urban and coastal water bodies, and for addressing barriers to migratory fish.  It proposes actions and responsibilities for a range of partner organisations. The draft plan will be available for consultation on SEPA’s website until 27 February 2013.

Funding was also announced for a pilot catchment project which will demonstrate how to combine the restoration of physical condition with measures which aim to reduce flood risk.  The catchments which have been chosen for the pilot project are:

  • the River Dee (NE Scotland Area Advisory Group (AAG) area);
  • the South Esk (River Tay AAG area);
  • the River Nith (Solway AAG area);
  • the River Glazert (part of the River Kelvin, Clyde AAG area).

The first phase of the project will involve scoping and stakeholder engagement in these areas.  Further information will be available shortly on SEPA’s website.