River Esks Barrier Easement Project
In November 2015, Practecology was awarded a contract to undertake protected and invasive species surveys along the Rivers North and South Esks in Dalkeith, Midlothian.
The surveys carried out were to inform the Project Design Team of constraints which could impact on the designs of barrier easements required to facilitate fish and sediment movement in the catchment. Surveys were carried out along both banks of each river and to distances 250m upstream and 500m downstream, incorporating a 50m wide buffer along each bank. This ensured that we not only complied with SNH guidance on otter surveys but would also be aware of any other potential constraint, such as the presence of a badger sett. Our data was also complemented by additional data provided by The Wildlife Information Centre.
During the surveys a number of interesting species were confirmed, including kingfisher and otter. Sightings of tawny owl, sparrowhawk and grey squirrel were also recorded while salmon and trout were also observed trying to navigate Dalkeith weir.