The Spey Catchment Initiative

United Kingdom
2010 > Ongoing
#SustainableAgriculture #WaterUse


Planting/safeguarding riparian woodlands and enhancing wetlands.
Demonstrating natural flood management techniques.
Improvement of banksides, re-naturalisation of straightened burns, creation of 15km riverbank fencing and provision of other water sources for livestock to remove diffuse pollution pressure.
Education, awareness raising & getting people involved in the catchment.


The Spey is one of Scotland’s most iconic rivers. It is of national and international importance for its salmon rod fishery, whisky distilling industry and its wildlife.
Nearly half of the Cairngorm National Park lies within the Spey catchment and the river’s importance to the environment is recognised through its “Special Area of Conservation status”. In its upper reaches it also contributes significantly to the Nation’s hydropower generation output.
Catchment Management Planning has become an established mechanism for developing a cohesive and holistic approach to large scale stewardship of the water environment.
By recognising the links between the health of a river and associated land use, it aims to enable all those who have an interest in the river to work more effectively together.


Public-private partnership:

Scottish Natural Heritage
National Park Authority
Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Spey Fishery Board
Highland Council


10,000 trees were planted in 2015; several kilometers of riverbank improved and restored; most livestock moved away from the river while alternative water supply was provided resulting in less water pollution. 
The initiative was the finalist of the UK River Prize contest.




Spey Catchment Initiative

Photo gallery


SCI-2016-Catchment-Management-Plan.pdf (pdf - 6.62 Mo)