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.
In the fourth of our monthly articles from the Dee Catchment Partnership, we hear about how they have been working with Aberdeen City Council as part of an international ...Learn more »
This month we hear about the importance of the grasslands on the banks of the Dee, and the hidden treasures they hold, from rare wildflowers to brightly coloured insects....Learn more »
- 16 Aug 2018 Blue-green spaces to help reduce flooding in Aberdeen - Piper Article 4, 2018
- 19 Jul 2018 Banks of the Dee hold hidden treasures - Piper Article 3, 2018
- 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 - Piper Article 2, 2018
- 01 Jun 2018 Newsletter - Catch Up
- 17 May 2018 Continuing the fight against invasive plants on Deeside - Piper Article 1, 2018
- 30 Apr 2018 Give and Gain Week
- 19 Apr 2018 Introducing the Dee Catchment Partnership - Intro Article, 2018
- 29 Mar 2018 INNS Forum launched