Submitted by: The Ythan Project run by a Partnership of organisations
Implemented country: United Kingdom
Title: Ythan River Restoration and Protection in Scotland
The Ythan Project ran from 2001 to 2005 and aimed to involve local people in restoring, protecting and enhancing the River Ythan and its tributaries in Aberdeenshire (Scotland). The Ythan river is 63 km long and has suffered from a number of pollution problems in recent years. The most prominent of these has been increasing levels of nitrates in the river waters, which may have led to an increase in algal blooms at the Ythan estuary. The estuary is designated as a Special Protection Area under the European Birds Directive for its wading bird populations, but the algal blooms could have a negative effect on these bird populations by reducing the quality and availability of the small mud-dwelling invertebrate animals that are a prime food source for the birds. Concern over this led to an increase in local interest in the river, and a group of local people, the Formartine Partnership, decided to capitalise on people’s interest in the river by producing an action plan for the area based on local people’s ideas and suggestions.