A water margin (or buffer strip) is a vegetated area near a stream which helps to protect a watercourse from the impact of adjacent activities. Buffer strips play an important role in protecting water quality and have become standard frontline protection for watercourses.
Buffer strips have been widely created, with a rolling programme to increase coverage year on year. We estimate that there are now over 300km in the Dee catchment. Most recently the EU LIFE Pearls in Peril project created over 45km of water margins in the middle catchment, including some 10m wide examples on the Tarland Burn (below).
Creating buffer strips by fencing of the riverbank is a well-established technique, but they are developing into more sophisticated water treatment systems. The James Hutton Instute is trialling new 'Intelligent' or 'BufferTech' water margins that intercept and treat the runoff from field drains and provide biomass from vegetation growth.
Water margins provide valuable protection from a wide range of impacts other than farming. We have pioneered their use to protect watercourses from the impact of development and this approach has been adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils.
This month we hear about how one of the Dee’s tributaries is being given a helping hand from a number of organisations within the partnership in a bid to restore it...Learn more »
This month we hear about how the organisations within the Partnership are working to protect an important local species, in 2019, the International Year of the Salmon. ...Learn more »
- 22 Apr 2019 A helping hand for the River Gairn
- 25 Feb 2019 Fishing season opens in 'International year of the Salmon'.
- 07 Jan 2019 Our hard working woodlands!
- 19 Nov 2018 BioBlitz event reveals thriving biodiversity at Countesswells
- 29 Oct 2018 Reflections from the edge of the National Park
- 16 Aug 2018 Blue-green spaces to help reduce flooding in Aberdeen
- 19 Jul 2018 Banks of the Dee hold hidden treasures
- 25 Jun 2018 Royal Highland Show
- 19 Jun 2018 Flooding models are a big hit
- 14 Jun 2018 River Dee highlighted in local wildlife film