Tree planting at Leny Burn
The river is at the heart of Callander, and at the heart of a number of our projects.
One of these projects, led by the Forth Rivers Trust with support from Callander’s Landscape, seeks to create a more environmentally rich river system on the Leny Burn, which flows into the Garbh Uisge on the outskirts of Callander. It is important for spawning fish (including Atlantic salmon) and for wildlife in general, and is part of the River Teith Special Area of Conservation (SAC). We have been working to protect this area in a green and environmentally friendly way.
Leny Burn is part of the best salmon spawning habitat in the Forth District. Electrofishing surveys have shown that the Teith tributaries have a high juvenile salmon density compared to more Eastern Forth District rivers, but they still compare poorly to the best-known salmon rivers such as the Tweed and Tay. So what can be done to help?
At Leny Burn, livestock’s access to the water had resulted in direct erosion of the riverbank, caused unwanted nutrients to enter the river through animal waste, increased surface water run-off due to the compacted soil, and stopped new vegetation establishing on the riverbank. We installed livestock fencing so that a grazing regime could be implemented, but there was more to do…
Over One Hundred Trees
We also needed to improve vegetation regeneration. The reduced impact of the livestock would allow native vegetation to grow along the river’s edge, and in December 2019 our volunteers spent two days planting and protecting 150 trees next to the river.
The trees are a mixture of native broadleaf trees such as Alder, Birch, Aspen and Rowan which will provide shade and cover, keep the river cool during hot summers (we are always optimistic about our summers, even if we’re occasionally disappointed!) provide somewhere to hide for wildlife, and create habitats for both land and aquatic species.
As a result of this activity, Leny Burn is on the way to reverting to a more natural state, where natural vegetation should hold together the riverbanks, restrict surface run-off and provide better habitats to the local wildlife species.