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Dunruchan Peatland Restoration, Knaik, Allan Water

Author:
Lawrence Belleni
Email:
l.belleni@fishforth.co.uk

Catchment Information

The Dunruchan peatland restoration site lies within the Knaik sub catchment (39km²), of the Allan Water. The Allan Water drains an area of approximately 210 square kilometres. Within the catchment there are several communities that are susceptible to flooding, including Blackford, Greenloaning, Dunblane, and Bridge of Allan. In common with many rivers the natural dynamics of the Allan Water and its tributaries have been altered by changes to the course and morphology of the channel. Re-alignment by straightening, dredging, and “improved” drainage systems all result in the potential for a faster accumulation of water in low gradient areas or where flow is constricted.
Within the Allan Water catchment there are a range of habitats, including upland heath, native woodland and raised bog, all of which are also represented in the Knaik sub catchment to greater or lesser extent. The land use in the Allan Water catchment is characterised by extensive agricultural production, forestry and urban zones. In the Knaik sub catchment, agriculture, particularly rough grazing is the dominant land use.
The Dunruchan peatland restoration site is one of a series of NFM based measures that are currently underway within the Allan Water Catchment.

Stage of project

Work completed

Monitoring Undertaken

Yes

Modelling Undertaken

Yes

Project Descriptions

Peatland restoration is important for storing and sequestering carbon, improving water quality and attenuating downstream flood risk. The Dunruchan Farm Peatland Restoration Project has delivered 48.2ha of restored upland blanket bog located in the Knaik sub catchment of the Allan Water, Perthshire. The project, funded by SNH’s Peatland Action Fund and managed by the River Forth Fisheries Trust, consists of: 790 peat dams; 10.4km (10365m) of ditch and gully reprofiling; 6 wooden sediment traps; further 40m of peat dams; 10m trench bund; and 7 plastic dams, collectively demonstrating a large variety of restoration measures as requested by the funder.
The project is also part of the wider River Forth Fisheries Trust’s Allan Water Improvement Project. The main objectives of the Allan Water Improvement Project are to deliver integrated catchment based projects that tackle issues including WFD objectives, NFM, diffuse pollution and barriers to fish passage.
The Allan Water has 3 potentially vulnerable areas (PVAs) to flood risk as assessed in the National Flood Risk Assessment, part of the Flood Risk Management Act 2009. A hydrological modelling study in 2011 by Halcrow and CRESS identified this area as contributing on average 23% of the flood peak that occurs in Bridge of Allan, which is the most significantly impacted PVA.
The location of the Dunruchan peatland site is also adjacent to/beside an important tributary for salmon and sea trout spawning.
In-situ monitoring includes 4 flow pressure transducers and 3 rain gauges installed in the Knaik sub catchment. The equipment was funded by a previous Scottish Government grant to Stirling University, which the AWIP has taken over delivery of.

Partners

River Forth Fisheries Trust

SNH

RSPB

Scottish Government

Dunruchan Farm

Drummond Estates

Stirling University