Our 2017 conference began with a tour of Linlithgow Loch and Palace with Historic Environment Scotland. Both are integral to the town itself, and brimming with opportunities for current adventures, and stories rich in culture and history. The loch itself was formed by a block of ice left behind by retreating glaciers at the end of the last ice age, and was chosen as the location of the palace in twelfth century. Over time land use surrounding the loch has changed, and now whilst still offering the community a fantastic 4km circuit for running, walking or pushing a buggy, and fishing, or a back drop to outdoor events it does suffer with algal blooms. A partnership group are investigating the main sources of nutrient and other pollutants, and raising awareness in the local community to reduce misuse of the drainage system with the ‘Only rain down the drain campaign’.
The tour of the loch and palace offered not only the opportunity to focus on this fascinating urban water, but also to develop new connections and re-establish those that have lapsed. The networking continued into the evening over a relaxed conference meal and in the company of after dinner speaker Dr Reverend Stuart Gillan.
The conference provided a diverse range of presentations which can be found below.
Exploring the values and management of our urban waters – past, present and future
Tuesday 25th April 2017
· Nick Benge, Water Gems, UK approach to urban waterbody restoration.
· Linda May, CEH, UK approach to urban waterbody restoration.
· Callum McPhail, SEPA, Restoration of a large urban loch – Strathclyde Loch.
· Chris Hassall, Leeds University, Treasure little things ecology management and creation of urban ponds.
· Paul Wood, Loughborough University, Restoration of urban streams and ponds.
· Jo Girvan, River life, Restoration in an urban setting.
· Brian Darcy, C&D Associates, Sustainable urban drainage in the protection and improvement of urban lochs.
· Alan McCulloch, SEPA, The Water Environment Fund, SEPA and urban regeneration in the water environment.
The outputs of the workshop sessions will be published shortly.