2014-04-07   facebook twitter rss

Sharing Diffusion Pollution Best Practice

UPM Tilhill’s Central Scotland team recently hosted a site visit by 42 members of staff from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Water and Scottish Natural Heritage to Warroch Hill woodland creation site, Milnathort.

The visit was arranged following a request from Forestry Commission Scotland’s (FCS) Perth & Argyll Conservancy team based in Perth. The aim was to share UPM Tilhill’s diffuse pollution control plan that has been prepared as part of proposals to fell and restock an existing forest area, establish over 250 hectares of new productive woodland and construct a new forest road to facilitate management.

Warroch Hill woodland creation site,

Regulators and forest managers were able to come together to discuss all of the various aspects of protecting local water resources from diffuse pollution during forest management and woodland creation projects. The event also allowed UPM Tilhill to share the company’s best practice guidance which has been developed in collaboration with SEPA.

A plan has been developed for the 356ha site that addresses a number of issues raised by FCS, statutory consultees and other interested parties. It details the process of assessing the site and identifying appropriate pollution control measures sufficient to minimise the risk of diffuse pollution being generated from ground preparation, drainage or roading operations. The aim is to avoid unacceptable impacts on high conservation interests in and around Loch Leven, Kinross.

The property lies within part of the Loch Leven catchment – a designated Special Protection Area for its over-wintering geese and wildfowl populations. Loch Leven is the largest natural eutrophic lake in Britain which, due its high natural nutrient status, has high biological productivity. It is also an important fishery.

John Gallacher, UPM Tilhill’s Ecologist said: “The training day was part of the on-going company effort to raise awareness of diffuse pollution and the range of measures we can deploy to minimise the risk especially against the backdrop of the wettest period since records began. Working in collaboration with SEPA, and other consultees, is an approach we highly commend especially in sensitive catchments like Loch Leven.”

David McNay of SEPA, who has worked closely with UPM Tilhill for many years, added: “It is good to see the amount of pre-planning undertaken on this site to highlight potential issues and how these issues will be resolved. The actual work on the ground so far has been undertaken in a manner which has looked to reduce soil movement on and off the site which will lessen the risk of diffuse pollution of the surrounding watercourses.”

Syd House, FCS’s Conservator, P&A Conservancy, echoed the positive feedback: ‘It’s always good to talk and to share experiences. This field workshop at Warroch Hill has been especially helpful in demonstrating to non-forestry regulators how effective the guidance contained in the UK Forestry Standard and other associated forestry good practice guides can be when followed appropriately. I commend UPM Tilhill and their clients for having the foresight to organise and host this event. My staff certainly appreciated it as did the representatives from other agencies.”

UPM Tilhill, established more than 60 years ago, is a national company operating from a network of offices throughout the UK and is the UK’s largest forest management and timber harvesting company. The company provides a full range of consultancy and contracting services to the forest owner and forestry investor.


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