|From:||Finlay Bennet (Finlay.Bennet@snh.gov.uk)|
|To:||Martina.Girvan@jacobs.com (Martina.Girvan@jacobs.com); |
|CC:||Fiona Mutch (Fiona.Mutch@snh.gov.uk); Mike Smedley (Mike.Smedley@snh.gov.uk); Erica Knott (Erica.Knott@snh.gov.uk); |
|Subject:||River Dee SAC data |
|Message:||Martina cc Erica, Fiona, Mike|
Apologies for not sending this information to you earlier. Mike forwarded your recent email to me for attention.
Myself and Fiona Mutch will be the main contacts in the first instance for your work on the appropriate assessment.
I've attached 4 documents to this email that are listed below, and the rest of this email makes some additional points.
1. fwpm - species justification for Dee SAC (2001)
2. scientific rationale for extension of Dee SAC to tributaries (2003)
3. otter - species justification for Dee SAC (2001)
4. CEH report on otter in Dee catchment (2004)
According to the CEH report no sites of importance to otter have been identified in the lower part of the wider catchment - although I'm aware that AWPR related survey work has found more recent evidence of otter use.
Selection of SAC lateral boundaries - main stem, Maryculter House Hotel to Murtle House
Following survey, area of low ground by river at NJ843000 near Maryculter House Hotel (ie in-between remains of church and river island), was included in the boundary as it appeared to offer good habitat for otter.
Island, riparian scrub and grassland at end of Pittengullies Brae (NJ850006), included in the boundary as it appeared to offer good habitat for otter (no field survey). Further riparian scrub habitat included at NJ855005.
Large island at NJ867010 included within the boundary (no field survey). Woodland and wood-pasture on either side old river (along south Deeside road and on Camphill), also included.
Moderately species-rich field downstream of Milltimber Bridge not included, as not important to SAC (but see below).
Selection of Tributaries - Culter and Crynoch Burn
The main criterion for the selection of each tributary was records of salmon, based on advice of DSFB. Neither burn was included in Dee Board Biologist's paper on the tributaries but, following discussion, each was classified as "signficiant", and included within the boundary of the possible extension of to the tribuatries of the then cSAC.
The Crynoch was surveyed by DSFB for the first time in 2002, and again in 2003. The Board's Biologist was surprised at the quality of the instream habitat along the lower sections of the burn, probably the best in the lower catchment, and considered potentially very productive.
The selection of the upper limit was on advice of DSFB. The Board's Biologist explained that the situation on this burn was complex. It has three natural waterfalls, located round about Corbie Pot, of which only the first is passable, and various weirs, lades and ponds associated with the former mill and Storybook Glen theme park. In both years electrofishing recorded parr above the waterfalls and Storybook Glen. It was suspected that salmon may gain access through lades: adults getting close to Storybook Glen, and parr possibly swimming through gaps in the sluice gates. Planting-out could not be the explanation as parr had been recorded in both years.
The Culter Burn was surveyed by DSFB in 2002. This showed good numbers of salmon - productivity at the single site electrofishing site was very high. Mill dam is impassable.
Other observations made by Mike Smedley:
Large island at NJ867010 would appear to be/is an important site for otter - eg I saw otter at upstream end of this island three evenings out of four midsummer this year. This section also good for water bat and all year round for kingfisher - kingfisher apparently nesting near to Milltimber Bridge.
Moderately species-rich field downstream of Milltimber Bridge supports frequent Conopodium majus and Ranunculus bulbosus, with rare Primula veris, Geranium sylvaticum and formerly Platanthera chlorantha.
Further to our discussion yesterday, here are links to the three reports I mentioned in my earlier email (these also still available on w/dr).
The fourth is the CEH report on otter sites in the catchment. The nearest "important" site to the WPR is the Loch of Skene (most of the others are on mid-Deeside). The Red Moss of Netherley is categorised as "potentially important" (defined as neither obviously important or unimportant for otter), and Hare Moss is "unknown" - see map for further info.
|Attachments:||Species Justification_ River Dee - Freshwater Pearl Mussel - 2001.doc|
Scientific rationale for the extension of the River Dee SAC to the tributaries - May 2003.doc
Draft otter justification for the River Dee - 2001.doc
CEH-SNH report - River Dee SAC - catchment - otter - 2004.doc