Diffuse forestry pollution can result from fertilisers that were used in the past that have built up in soil and in the sediment of watercourses because forestry operations meant that the soil was disturbed.
This can be worse on steep slopes and in wet conditions. Forests planted before the 1990s were often planted right up to the river’s edge, which is the case in much of the area and has lead to the loss of bankside vegetation and the riverbanks wearing away.
Good forestry practice can help tackle these problems, such as leaving buffer strips between watercourses and areas of new planting. The Pow Burn has been recorded as being of moderate ecological status for diffuse pollution as a result of these forestry operations.