From flood management to sustainable land use, the results of a multi-partner project funded by the Scottish Government are being seen by landowners in the Allan Water catchment area in Central Scotland. The Allan Water runs from the Ochil Hills above Blackford in Perth & Kinross through the towns of Dunblane and Bridge of Allan to its confluence with the Forth just upstream of Stirling. It has a catchment size of approximately 216km2, with land use mainly agricultural and forestry with mixed habitats. The river is home to populations of Atlantic salmon, eels and lamprey and other protected species, such as otter. The land & other infrastructure use has constrained the river which is disconnected in places from the floodplain which has added to flood risk issues to communities along the river.

Managed by Forth Rivers Trust, The Allan Water Improvement Project (AWIP) is an integrated catchment management project that works in partnership with farmers and other landowners and several organisations to deliver water framework directive objectives, natural flood management and wider environment and habitat improvement work.

The improvement work includes riverbank restoration, tree planting, weir fencing, peatland restoration and non native species control all of which are designed to sustainably improve rivers for wildlife as well as supporting land owners improve their land management practices. A full list of benefits are included in the Notes to Editors. Land owners are supported throughout the process both with funding applications and the delivery of work on the ground.

Forth Rivers Trust Director Alison Baker said’ “Building partnerships across the catchment has been the key to making a difference to the health of the Allan Water, by exploring and delivering practical solution with landowners, business and communities. Funding from the Scottish Government allows the partnership to continue its much-needed work to support land managers along the river and promote good land and water practices within the catchment.

The Allan Water Improvement Project is having a significant impact on the health of one of Scotland’s rivers. These sustainable practices are seeing huge benefits for both landowners and local communities as land management improves and river wildlife is being allowed to flourish. Thanks to the co-operation and understanding of landowners and support from the Scottish Government the Allan Water Improvement project continues to be a win-win for all.”

Speaking following the successful completion of 95 metres of riverbank protection at Nether Cambushinnie, Farm owner Bill McColl said: “We farm organically at Nether Cambushinnie and have a mix of stock and cropping. The team at Forth Rivers Trust were incredibly supportive in helping secure the funding for the delivery of the Greenbank Project. Throughout they provided advice, helped us access other funding to work in tandem with this and educated us on the benefits of this important work. As a result we have also planted trees and hedges on the farm all of which help “slow the flow” and work as Natural Flood Management on the Allan Water. I would recommend other landowners in the Allan Water Catchment area explore the benefits of this worthwhile project.”

For further information on the Allan Water Improvement Project visit: