Monitoring the catchment

The Eddleston catchment is being comprehensively monitored so that the effect of various restoration measures, such as riparian planting or re-meandering, can be fully understood. This monitoring programme consists of a hydrometric network (which will measure water as it enters and flows through the catchment), groundwater monitoring, water quality measurements as well as ecological and geomorphological surveys.

Flooding at one of our re-meandered natural flood management sites in the Eddleston catchment.

In order to measure reductions in flood risk, Dundee University has overseen the expansion of the catchment’s hydrometric network (which measures water as it enters and flows through the catchment) with an additional 11 water level gauging stations, 4 rain gauges, 2 atmospheric pressure recorders, 3 ‘tipping bucket’ rain recorders and a ‘weather station’. This will augment the existing rain gauge and water level monitoring equipment operated by SEPA. This network plus our groundwater monitoring programme will give us information on how the Eddleston ‘behaves’ during rainfall events, on where floods are generated and the speed at which they dissipate. During 2011 and 2012 there were a number of ‘bank-full’ events, which have shown that the equipment is working well. This means that over time, the effects of land use change and habitat improvement on the hydrology of the catchment can be measured. This will be invaluable for Scottish Government and others in assessing the effectiveness of ecological restoration/natural flood management techniques on flood flows.

Panoramic (split) image of flooding in the lower Eddleston catchment (left to right = north to south). Photo reproduced with kind permission from Dr. Philip Ashmole.