Scientists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) recently led a public meeting to discuss lake management issues with the Loch Flemington Catchment Management Group (LFCMG). The meeting gave stakeholders an opportunity to learn about water quality problems at Loch Flemington, caused mainly by phosphorus release from loch sediments and the spread of invasive non-native species.
CEH recently led a project to improve water quality at the site by treating the loch sediments, designed to stop phosphorus release from the loch bed.
Meeting coordinator Sebastian Meis, a CEH PhD student in freshwater ecology, outlined the significant planning and logistical work involved in the treatment of the loch sediments and discussed the improvements in water quality and ecology following the sediment treatment in March 2010.
Sebastian said, "The public meeting was a great success and gave CEH scientists an extremely important opportunity to discuss our findings with a wide range of stakeholders. The local community feel very strongly about the loch and we were delighted to answer questions and discuss future management issues.
"Treatment of the sediments has reduced phosphorus levels and improved the ecology of the loch. We were especially excited to see some native aquatic plants begin to colonise larger areas of the loch beds, although the encroaching invasive aquatic plants pose a real threat to the ecology of the loch."
The workshop was attended by a wide range of stakeholders, including landowners and local residents, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Natural Heritage, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Scottish Agricultural College, the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, as well as representatives from local councils and interest groups.
Ian Milne, from SEPA, said, "SEPA is pleased that there are positive early signs that the water quality of the Loch is improving. This has been a long-standing problem, and it is credit to all those involved that we are hopefully making progress on what seemed an intractable problem."
For further information, contact Sebastian Meis.
CEH lake restoration workshop a success - 17 November 2010