South Esk Catchment management plan enters final stages
After four years in the planning and 18 months of consultation following the appointment of the Project Officer, a second series of public meetings was held last week to discuss the final draft of the South Esk Catchment Management Plan. The two meetings, which were held in Memus village hall and the Finavon Hotel, were attended by almost sixty people.
"The good turnouts at both meetings demonstrate the continuing high level of interest and support in this plan, said Karen Phillip, the independent Project Officer overseeing the development of the River South Esk Catchment Management Plan. "The catchment is of immense importance to Angus – and not only to those who live in the catchment area.
"With industries such as farming, forestry, fisheries and tourism all taking place within the boundaries of the River South Esk Catchment, this area provides many people in the Angus area with employment. It also provides opportunities for leisure pursuits including walking, canoeing and cycling and supports a great variety of wildlife and plants."
Karen explained that the draft plan contains a series of 17 catchment objectives - relating to water quality, water resources, flood management, river engineering, habitats and species and socio-economic issues – and 65 management actions which aim to resolve these issues. "These meetings provided the chance for members of the public to discuss the catchment objectives and management actions contained within the draft plan, including the finer points of how these are to be achieved," continued Karen, who added that this second series of public meetings was supplemented by an evening river walk held for Angus Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) members at Gella Bridge at the end of July.
"Judging by the wide selection of comments and suggestions that were made during the meetings, people are obviously very interested in ensuring the RiverSouth Esk Catchment is managed in such a way it benefits everyone living and working in the area – and also the habitats and wildlife of the area," said Karen. "The South Esk Catchment Management Plan will provide the framework which will enable this to happen and will ensure that the River South Esk remains capable of withstanding the many demands placed upon it."
The public consultation continues until 4th September, 2009, after which all the comments received will be collated and the draft plan amended, with the South Esk Catchment Management Plan on schedule to be launched in December 2009.
Copies of the draft plan are available from the Project Officer, Karen Phillip, on 01307 473198 or email PhillipK@angus.gov.uk or visit http://www.angusahead.com/southesk. Comments must be received by Friday, 4th September 2009.