Projects

Our current focus is on delivering projects which restore natural form and function in modified watercourses and enhance river corridor habitats, benefitting biodiversity and improving resilience to climate change.

Aviemore Spey Access Point Enhancement
In partnership with Aviemore Community Enterprise Company, Reidhaven Estates and others, SCI carried out repair, stabilisation and enhancement of a popular but increasingly degraded area of the river bank used for boat launching and recreation. Natural materials and willow spiling were utilised to achieve a robust, sustainable solution, ensuring the area remains safe and attractive for all users in future. The work was completed in November 2019.

Read more here.

Kinchurdy Farm Riparian Woodland Creation
Poaching by cattle and sheep along a stretch of the Spey between Boat of Garten and Aviemore was causing the banks to become heavily eroded in places, leading to diffuse pollution from sediment being washed into the river. Intensive grazing was preventing growth of new trees and plants, and the bare ground was making the problem of sediment runoff worse. Thanks to funding from Reidhaven Estate and the Cairngorms National Park Authority, around 4.5 km of bank have been stock fenced to keep livestock back from the river, and alternative watering for animals installed. Planting of native broadleaf trees has linked with existing woodland to create, in time, a riverside woodland habitat corridor 7 km long – good news for wildlife, keeping the river cool and improving water quality.
Read more here.

River Avon catchment fish barrier easement
As part of the Tomintoul and Glenlivet Landscape Partnership Project, three man-made structures were identified which were restricting salmon and trout migrating upstream to spawning grounds in the upper catchment. In 2018, two barriers at road bridges were modified by putting in low timber stepped weirs, forming a ‘staircase’ which fish can easily move through. A farm track culvert was replaced with a much more fish-friendly design at a third location. In total 9km of extra breeding habitat has been opened up – a real boost to struggling salmon populations.
Read more here

Previous Projects

Delagyle Backwater Channel Re-watering
In spring 2018 an artificially blocked-off side channel of the River Spey near Aberlour was re-connected to the river. New, good quality habitat is now being formed by the restored flow in the 200m channel and we expect rare Freshwater pearl mussels and a host of other river species to be moving in. The channel also provides valuable refuge for juvenile salmon during high flows, whilst thanks to the culvert under the bank, anglers can carry on enjoying the popular nearby pool unaffected.
See the report here.

Allt Lorgy River Restoration Project.
This pioneering river restoration project delivered in 2012 restored the morphology and habitats of an artificially straightened and embanked section of the Allt Lorgy, a tributary of the River Dulnain in the Spey catchment.

Aviemore Willow Spiling Project.
A successful trial of using living willow to protect and stabilise an eroding bank of the Spey in an area of heavy public access.
See the report here.

Allt a’ Mharcaidh river restoration.
Re-naturalisation of a canalised burn and its peaty flood plain in the Feshie catchment.
See the report here and poster here.

Aviemore Backwater Reconnection.
Re-connection of a disconnected side channel of the Spey at Aviemore.
See the report here.