Salix worked with Aberdeen City Council, Cbec and Walking-the-Talk to restore the East Tullos Burn in St Fittick’s Park, Torry.
Following consultation with the local community and stakeholders, the burn’s restoration design was finalised in 2013 and work on the ground began in March 2014, with Cbec leading the management and Salix delivering the construction.
The project transformed the waterway from a straight, hard-engineered channel, into a more natural stream with a meandering course, functional floodplain and improved wetland habitats.
Creating new wetland features
An important design element of the £300,000 project was the creation of wetlands and associated off channel features to provide the same function as a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SuDS), but in a more aesthetic and natural way.
David Holland, Technical Director for Salix, explains:
“Over the years, the East Tullos Burn had been straightened and over-deepened, resulting in a degraded channel and low biodiversity. Working with our partners, we widened the burn’s floodplain, restored flow diversity to the channel, created a number of swales to connect existing off-line wetlands and installed a new online wetland.
These new wetland features will increase the floodplain storage and water retention time, leading to better water quality in the catchment and biodiversity improvements.”
As well as creating valuable new wetland habitats, the project included the planting of new
trees and 150,000 native wetland and wildflower plants grown in house by Salix.
Two hectares of excess soil heaps were seeded with perennial and annual wildflower seeds
supplied by Scottish wildflower seed supplier Scotia Seeds.
The new plants provide habitat, nutrient and pollutant buffering, as well as enhancing the
hydro-morphology of this previously neglected waterway.
Improving public access
A new wooden footbridge has also been installed and the area’s footpaths have been
upgraded, improving public access to the burn and its wildlife.
The restoration project was completed in June 2014.
This project has won two awards, a Highly Commended in the Sustainable Development category of the RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards in Edinburgh and came top in the Herald Society Awards in the Environmental Initiative of the Year category. It was also a Highly Commended Project at the River Restoration Centre’s 2017 UK River Prize awards.
Funding was supplied by the:
Name: East Tullos Burn
Client: Aberdeen City Council
Location: East Tullos Burn, St Fittick’s Park, Torry
Category: Wetland Habitat Creation