River South Esk Catchment Partnership

The River South Esk catchment covers a large area of Angus in North East Scotland and is drained by the River South Esk and its tributaries. This includes its lochs, groundwaters, wetlands and the unique enclosed estuary of Montrose Basin.

At first glance the area would appear to be in perfect condition, especially compared with more heavily built-up areas. We can see this from the wide range of wildlife the area supports – from Atlantic salmon and freshwater pearl mussels to otters and water voles, to name a few. However, monitoring reports and consultation with those who use the area or regulate the activities that happen in it, suggest otherwise. Flooding is a concern in some parts of the area such as at Brechin; fish stocks and freshwater pearl mussels are reducing in number; non-native invasive weeds are spreading in the middle and lower areas; and the ecological status of some tributaries is poor or moderate rather than the good status it should be.

Montrose basin nearing the estuary, image shows a large loch with wheat fields in the foreground

Montrose basin nearing the estuary

Thin strip of image show tree trunk and bark