Case study:Burn of Balmaleedy Restoration, Marykirk

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Location: 56° 46' 51", -2° 30' 28"
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Project overview

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Status In progress
Project web site
Themes Flood risk management
Country Scotland
Main contact forename Gavin
Main contact surname Bissett
Main contact user ID User:Rbryan
Contact organisation Aberdeenshire Council
Contact organisation web site http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk
Partner organisations
Parent multi-site project
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encompassing the following
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Looking downstream on restored section of the Burn of Balmaleedy

Project summary

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This is a summary of a project undertaken by Aberdeenshire Council to restore a section of the Burn of Balmaleedy, upstream of the village of Marykirk. The restoration aims to restore the natural fluvial morphology of the section of the burn to reduce sediment mobilisation and transport, bringing benefits for flood management in the local area.

The Burn of Balmaleedy is a small tributary of the River North Esk. The burn flows roughly 3km southwest from its source into Marykirk, where it passes through two culverts under the A937. It then flows a further 1km along a low gradient section to the south to join the main river. From anecdotal evidence, a 300m section of the watercourse was previously straightened in the mid-late 1990’s. The canalised section of the burn exhibited a steep gradient, accelerating flows through the reach, resulting in channel incision (down to a depth of 3m) and bank erosion. This led to an increased amount of sedimentation occurring downstream in Marykirk, particularly around the A937 culverts and in the low gradient section of the watercourse. As a result, the conveyance of the channel has been greatly reduced, increasing flood risk in Marykirk and to the A937.

The project aims are:

    •	To restore the natural fluvial morphology of a previously straightened 300m section of the Burn of Balmaleedy
    •	To reduce the mobilisation and downstream transportation of sediment 
    •	To reduce flood risk in and around Marykirk  

The Burn of Balmaleedy Restoration Project has been undertaken by Aberdeenshire Council. SEPA's Water Environment Fund has also contributed to the problem by providing some of the funding.

We welcome any comments.

For any further information regarding this project please contact:

Gavin Bissett - Flooding and Coast Protection, Aberdeenshire Council, Carlton House, Stonehaven AB39 2QP (01569 768475)

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Catchment and subcatchment



Site

Name
WFD water body codes
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name
Pre-project morphology
Reference morphology
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body
National/international site designation
Local/regional site designations
Protected species present
Invasive species present
Species of interest
Dominant hydrology
Dominant substrate
River corridor land use
Average bankfull channel width category
Average bankfull channel width (m)
Average bankfull channel depth category
Average bankfull channel depth (m)
Mean discharge category
Mean annual discharge (m3/s)
Average channel gradient category
Average channel gradient
Average unit stream power (W/m2)


Project background

Reach length directly affected (m) 300
300 m
0.3 km
30,000 cm
Project started 2010/03/01
Works started 2014/06/26
Works completed 2014/09/19
Project completed 2019/09/30
Total cost category
Total cost (k€)
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources Aberdeenshire Council, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Water Environment Fund (WEF)

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design
Stakeholder engagement and communication
Works and works supervision
Post-project management and maintenance
Monitoring



Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Re-establish the natural fluvial morphology of a section of the Burn of Balmaleedy
Hydromorphology Reduce the stream power and downstream sediment transport. This will reduce the amount of deposition of material at culverts in the village of Marykirk.
Biology
Physico-chemical
Other reasons for the project Reduce flood risk and the impacts of flooding downstream in the village of Marykirk.


Measures

Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Step-pool section at d/s end of restored reach
Floodplain / River corridor
Planform / Channel pattern Re-meandering
Other
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement)
Other


Monitoring

Hydromorphological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Biological quality elements

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Physico-chemical quality elements

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Any other monitoring, e.g. social, economic

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Monitoring documents



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Supplementary Information

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