River partnership shortlisted for environment award

The partnership tasked with looking after the river Dee catchment in north east Scotland is a finalist in the Inspiring Aberdeenshire Awards.

By Dawn Renton
Thursday, 20th May 2021, 12:00 am
Dr Susan Cooksley and Edwin Third (inset) led the restoration of the Easter Beltie burn near Torphins last year,
Dr Susan Cooksley and Edwin Third (inset) led the restoration of the Easter Beltie burn near Torphins last year,

Shortlisted for the Beautiful Aberdeenshire Environmental Award, the Dee Catchment Partnership’s recent Easter Beltie burn restoration project near Torphins was recognised for ‘helping to nurture and enhance the region’s natural beauty though environmental initiatives.’

Dee Catchment Partnership Manager Dr Susan Cooksley, led the three-month long Beltie burn restoration project with River Operations Manager for the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board, Edwin Third.

She said: “We’re delighted to be a finalist.

"Our partnership exists to promote, facilitate and deliver collaborative projects that conserve the unique biodiversity and natural beauty of Deeside.

“The restoration at Easter Beltie is doing exactly that creating a new area of wild beauty that has created habitat for a rich diversity of wildlife.”

“Funded by NatureScot’s Biodiversity Challenge Fund, the restoration of the Beltie has been a huge success – we were absolutely delighted to see salmon spawning before the last of the diggers had even left the site,” adds Edwin Third.

“The water from the previously straightened channel now flows though three specially created wetland pools, and onwards downstream through a gently meandering course.

"The site is already home to kingfisher, dipper, heron, badger and otter.”

The Dee Catchment Partnership is made up of representatives from Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, River Dee Trust and Dee District Salmon Fishery Board, NatureScot, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Scottish Forestry, SEPA, James Hutton Institute and Aberdeen Harbour Board.

Now in their ninth year, the Inspiring Aberdeenshire awards recognise unsung community heroes.

Provost of Aberdeenshire, Cllr Bill Howatson said: “These awards offer us a platform to finding our unsung heroes – the people who have been working tirelessly for years but do not get the praise they deserve.”

The awards will be handed out at a virtual live-streamed ceremony in August.