Flood Management

Good progress has been made by the local authorities against the Findhorn, Nairn and Speyside Local Flood Risk Management Plan.

A variety of projects have contributed to sustainable and natural flood management in the catchment. Restoring peatland to slow water runoff and increase storage is now an established practice, with projects including the restoration of blanket bog at Abernethy. Projects to restore or plant riparian woodland to slow water runoff have been delivered on the Avon (led by the Tomintoul and Glenlivet Partnerhsip (TGLP)), Truim, Calder and  main stem of the Spey at Kinchurdy, and a large landowner-led woodland scheme on the Balavil Estate covers much of the Raitts Burn catchment.

Floodwater storage was improved by the SCI on the flood plain of the Delliefure Burn (with the CNPA and SFB), and by the TGLP at Delnabo. Floodplain restoration projects are in development at Insh Marshes (RSPB) and the Allt a Mharcaidh (with Cairngorms Connect, FLS and SCI).

Natural or sustainable flood management was promoted throughout the catchment, including through the "Creating Climate Resilient Catchments" short film developed by the CNPA for COP26, as well as various other media, films and social media communications highlighting successful projects. Community engagement campaigns ranged from discouraging flushing wipes to reduce sewer floods (Scottish Water), to raising awareness of ‘slowing the flow’ through bogwood restoration (Abernethy RSPB), to events with schools on flood risk and mitigation.

Examples of key successes from 2017 - 2021:

Delliefure Burn reconnected with its flood plain

An SCI project to reconnect the Delliefure Burn to its flood plain has created two large wetlands providing great habitat for a variety of species on this wildlife-friendly farm. In flood conditions water will be stored in greater volumes and for longer, contributing to natural flood management.

Flood modelling of Gynack Burn completed

Considerable work led by Highland Council has been devoted to flood modelling and mitigation on the Gynack Burn, which poses a serious flood risk to the town of Kingussie.

Awareness campaign reduces problems in sewage system

Posters from Scottish Water’s campaign to discourage disposal of problem-causing waste into the sewerage system.

Significant new woodland surrounding Raitts Burn will slow the flow

The upland catchment of the Raitts Burn has been planted with around 300ha of new woodland, which in time will help to slow the flow of water from the hillsides.