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Habitat Improvements

Much of the river flows through open farm land where the majority of banks have little or no cover. All too frequently banks become badly eroded by cattle or sheep coming down to the river to drink. Many projects have been undertaken over the years to try and improve the trouts' habitat.

Improvements have included tree planting to strengthen the river bank, provide cover for trout and to help to attract fly life. 

The creation of groynes has resulted in the formation of riffles and gli leading to a reduction of bank erosion.

Below the groynes, water flow has increased, creating a scouring action on the river bed. These fast flows also help oxygenate the water, encouraging fish to stay during hot weather and when the river is low.

Steps have also been taken to tackle the invasive Himalayan balsam weed to stop it suffocating other species in its path and destroying the natural biodiversity.

The non-native Himalayan balsam grows next to watercourses and spreads quickly, putting other plants in the shade,  killing them and taking over river banks. This eventually causes damage to watercourses through erosion.

At the Pilmuir the non-native Canadian pondweed (Elodea canadensis) can be a problem.

As well as inhibiting casting toward the end of the season, Canadian pondweed dominates native macrophyte communities and this can lead to their local extinction. Impacts have also been recorded on invertebrate communities and all Elodea species take up metals from the sediment and release them into the water. Work parties are regularly held to mechanically remove this invasive species.

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