Skip to content

Riparian habitat and catchment soils

Alder trees along stream banks

The roots of alder trees strengthen stream banks and their leaves provide food for invertebrate larvae in the river

The health of riparian (stream side) habitat and river catchment areas affects the stability of rivers, their fertility and food availability, and their ability to resist acid flushes. Across much of Wester Ross, soils are thin, peaty, or poorly developed, reflecting an impoverished ecosystem. Indicators of healthy, fertile, soils include earthworms and moles. WRFT is currently mapping the distribution of these, and of invasive New Zealand flatworms.

One of the most exciting developments in recent years has been establishment of Woodland Grant Schemes to restore native woodlands. By reducing grazing pressures (there are still voles and hares in some WGS schemes), planting trees and applying fertilizer, soils are given a chance to recover. The largest WGS in Scotland, the Baile mor woodland established by Gairloch Estate, is located between Gairloch and Loch Maree. There are trout lochs in the new woodland and these may become more productive as the trees become established.

Related Downloads

To download a file, right-click over it's name and choose Save Link/Target As...

  • Ecosystem Fertility & Salmon Smolt Seminar November 2007
    This report is a compliation of summaries of presentations at the WRFT Ecosystem Fertility Seminar in Gairloch on 30th November, 2007.  Posted: 05/09/2008 (390KB)
  • Improving Habitats for Salmon and Trout Production in Wester Ross
    PDF version of presenation by Peter Cunningham (WRFT Biologist) at WRFT-FWAG workshop on 26th January 2009. Note that this is a large 25 MB file with many pictures and will take several minutes to downlaod even with a Broadband connection. .  Posted: 04/02/2009 (24.86MB)
  • Land Use and Salmon Smolt Production in Wester Ross
    Presentation given by Peter Cunningham at the WRFT Ecosystem Fertility and Salmon Smolt Production Seminar on 30th November 2007. Describes growth of juvenile salmon in Wester Ross and how this relates to soil fertility and land management. Note large size of file!.  Posted: 05/09/2008 (22.41MB)
  • Presentation by John Roberston (FWAG) on SRDP funding
    Presentation by John Roberston (FWAG) on SRDP funding given at workshop on 26th January 2009. Click on the links in this presentation to explore related pages on the SRDP website.  Posted: 04/02/2009 (457KB)
  • Refertilising Scotland part 1
    Part 1 of presentation given by Peter Cunningham at Reforesting Scotland Annual meeting at Torridon Village Hall on 25th September 2010.  Posted: 27/09/2010 (25.99MB)
  • Refertilising Scotland part 2
    Part 2 of presentation given by Peter Cunningham at the Reforesting Scotland Annual meeting at Torridon Village Hall on 25th September 2010.  Posted: 27/09/2010 (15.03MB)
  • Ullapool River Fisheries Management Plan 2006-2010
    This report published in March 2006 provides an outline of the following: catches of salmon and trout in the Ullapool Rivr, results of juvenile salmon and trout surveys within the catchment, an assessment of the freshwater habitat accessible to salmon and sea trout; management recommendations and options to restore the natural fisheries productivity of the Ullapool River system. .  Posted: 11/09/2012 (4.62MB)
  • WRFT Wild Trout Project Report 2006-07
    Posted: 24/06/2008 (1.24MB)