Cairn Beck NFM project

Part of project: Natural flood management

This project kicked off in August 2018 and we’re currently in the scoping stage to identify natural flood management (NFM) opportunities throughout the Cairn Beck catchment. This is planned to last 3-5 months. The first installation of NFM measures will take place in Spring 2019 followed by 3 years of monitoring.

To date the project has involved scoping and landowner engagement to identify suitable options and the development and implementation of the monitoring strategy to measure the effectiveness of these measures, including the installation of rain gauges, measuring devices and time-lapse cameras.

The computer modelling element of the project is giving us in-depth information about the hydrology of the area.  It includes:

  • GIS analysis (ArcHydro) looking at flow accumulations and areas of surface water flooding
  • SCIMAP (diffuse pollution risk mapping) to identify areas of high risk hydrological connectivity and erosion risk
  • Viridian modelling to determine where the best placed NFM measures are whilst also achieving the most ecosystem service benefits

The monitoring aspect of the project is critical in understanding the success of these measures, building knowledge of their effectiveness and supporting future NFM work.

This includes:
Leaky dams site:

  • Four water level measuring devices installed at the leaky dams site:
  • Two bracketing the entire site i.e. one at the upstream end and one at the downstream end of the series of leaky dams
  • Two on one leaky dam i.e. one directly upstream and one directly downstream of one dam
  • A tipping bucket rain gauge to record rainfall events

Re-meandering site:

  • Two water level measuring devices at the upstream and downstream ends

Time-lapse cameras, and environmental monitoring such as electro-fishing, invertebrate sampling will periodically be carried out at both sites.

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