The Environment Partnership (TEP) has been appointed by Fife Council and SEPA to prepare a feasibility study for the restoration of the Back Burn at Glenrothes. The watercourse is currently classed as poor in terms of its ecological quality and poses numerous obstacles to migrating fish.
The project will see TEP work with the River Restoration Centre (RCC) – the UK’s national advice centre for best-practice river and catchment management – to identify restoration options for the Back Burn and assess any wider ecological benefits. Reinforced banks, sluices and weirs along the Black Burn’s length have impacted fish migrations and contributed to the loss of water from the channel. The watercourse has also been classed as being of "poor ecological quality", something SEPA and Fife Council are aiming to address.
RCC’s team will undertake hydrogeomorphological surveys and produce costed options for the restoration of the watercourse, while TEP’s ecologists and greenspace managers will carry out habitat surveys, greenspace and footpath condition audits and consultations with local authority officers. The consultancy will also prepare an ecosystem services opportunity assessment for the Back Burn corridor.
The final report will enable Fife Council and SEPA to identify how to bring community and public health benefits through the process of river restoration. Subject to feasibility findings, SEPA and Fife Council will make funding applications for detailed design and implementation of restoration works.