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Cattie Burn Restoration Project

Ballogie Estate is working in partnership with the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board (DDFB) who have secured funding to help restore the Cattie Burn which runs through the heart of Ballogie Estate.

The Cattie Burn is an important tributary of the middle river for spawning Atlantic salmon and as a nursery for young fish. The Burn forms part of the River Dee Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for the protection of Atlantic Salmon, Freshwater pearl mussel and Otter.

The funding comes from the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund, managed by NatureScot. The multiple works are intended to have a transformational cumulative benefit to the river, catchment and the wildlife that depends upon it.

Conservation is a central aim of Ballogie Estate and in partnering with the DDFB and professional contractors we are able to effectively improve and increase the wetland habitat on Ballogie. Every step needs to be taken to ensure the survival of wild Atlantic Salmon, a keystone species, central to the River Dee and catchment’s ecosystem.

Wild Atlantic Salmon have declined by 70% in the last 25 years. In December 2023 the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) added Atlantic Salmon to it’s red list of threatened species . This restoration work is an important step we can take to work towards improving salmon spawning ground and sustaining the Dee’s salmon population.

The Cattie Burn Restoration project aims to restore the watercourse and parts of its floodplain by implementing a range of practical measures, including re-meandering a modified section of the watercourse, creating instream habitat, removing two disused weirs, enhancing the floodplain and wetland and controlling an invasive non-native plant on the riverbank.

The work will build on existing restoration work carried out by the DDFB. It is part of an ambitious plan to make the River Dee catchment more resilient to future climate challenges. The project will be complete by early 2025.

NatureScot Chair Professor Colin Galbraith said: “Through the Nature Restoration Fund, we can support vital work to restore Scotland’s species and habitats back to being healthy, vibrant and thriving. Now more than ever, we need nature-based solutions to the climate-nature crises. It’s projects like this that can really help to stop biodiversity loss and enable us to move towards a nature-rich, net-zero future for everyone in Scotland.”

Alongside the restoration work on the River Dee and it’s tributaries, the DDFB has partnered with the Atlantic Salmon Trust to Save the Spring. More information here.

To keep up to date with the work follow Ballogie Estate socials.

Photos taken by Abby Nicol show one of the weirs to be removed and a young fisher on a beautiful section of the Cattie Burn, Ballogie Estate.

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