The Eye Water catchment is a Priority Catchment for diffuse pollution under the river basin planning process. With Eyemouth Beach regularly failing to meet the requirements of the Bathing Water Directive due to faecal pollution from livestock, the issue of diffuse pollution input from the Eye Water has never been more pressing.
The Eye Water Diffuse Pollution Project was a collaboration between SEPA and Tweed Forum. In March 2009, local SEPA staff asked Tweed Forum to help liaise with farmers on the Eye Water catchment to address diffuse pollution. SEPA staff had identified areas on the Eye Water and its tributaries where livestock had unhindered access to watercourses and, in 2010, SEPA gave Tweed Forum a list of 35 farms on the Eye Catchment where there might be the possibility of reducing diffuse pollution.
The majority of farms in the catchment were visited and we now have 7,800m of streamside protected, 11.68ha of land fenced off from livestock (requiring 12,857m of fencing) plus 500 native trees planted. These improvements will help address the issue of pollution further downstream at Eyemouth, however, there are still areas of the Eye Water catchment which need revisiting and SEPA plan to carry out further work.
This project received funding from SRDP and the SEPA Restoration Fund.
Below: before (left) and after (right) images of fenced off riparian strip, taken one year apart.