North Esk Valley – River Corridor Management Planning

North Esk Valley – River Corridor Management Planning

LFGNP aims to work across landownership boundaries to promote action on a landscape scale.

This involves using habitat networks and green corridors as a basis for enhancing connectivity benefits for people and wildlife.

To illustrate this approach LFGNP worked with landowners and stakeholders to develop proposals for woodland management in the North Esk Valley. This important section of the North Esk comprises nine separate land-ownerships covering a total area of 191ha. It includes Roslin Glen and Bilston Wood SSSI sites (right). Funding for the plan was awarded from the Forestry Commission Scotland Woods in and Around Towns (WIAT) Programme.

The aim is to provide an integrated approach to management of woodlands and open habitat across a number of land ownerships which recognises the strategic value of the North Esk River Corridor as a site of high conservation value and also as a popular access corridor and destination for day visitors. The Strategic Woodland Management Plan makes recommendations which will facilitate the submission of detailed funding applications.

The site is also close to the neighbouring communities of Bonnyrigg, Loanhead, Roslin and Lasswade and as such has potential to provide an important recreational resource for local people including socially excluded groups. Partners in the Project include the following organisations:

  • Esk Valley Trust
  • Midlothian Council
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust
  • Crown Estates
  • Scottish Wildlife Trust
  • Historic Scotland

In addition to this a number of other stakeholders in the management plan area include local community councils, Springfield Mill Action Group and Historic Scotland. A number of management issues which the proposed management plan needs to address include the following:

Proposed outcomes of the project include the following:

  • There will be improved path networks in the area. Paths will be in better condition with a hierarchy of routes including priority paths. Key routes will be appropriately signed and waymarked.
  • Improved interpretation of the area will exist with leaflets, signage and web-based material.
  • Conflicts will be reduced through appropriate zoning of the area and redirection of inappropriate activities to suitable locations.
  • There will be increased levels of local participation in woodland management, planning and project implementation by local people.
  • Young people from a wide range of backgrounds will be involved in educational activities within the area including forest schools.
  • Woodlands and habitats will be in better overall condition with a lower percentage of non native species including beech and sycamore. There will be improved natural regeneration. In addition dangerous trees close to paths will have been risk assessed and removed as appropriate.
  • The potential of the area as a resource for health and well being will be widely appreciated by local people through an increase in formal and informal usage of the site.

The River North Esk Strategic Woodland Management Plan can be downloaded below:

Strategic Woodland Management Plan (1.26MB)
Map 1 Location and Ownerships (2MB) 
Map 2 Conservation Designations (2MB)
Map 3 Social/Cultural Context (5MB)
Map 4 Current Woodland Types (2MB)
Map 5 Current Access (2MB)
Map 6 Activity Themes (2MB)
Map 7 Woodland Vision (2.5MB)
Map 8 Recreation Vision (2.5MB)
Map 9 Woodland Proposals (1.8MB)
Map 10 Recreation Proposals (1.5MB)

For further information about this project please contact Alison at Lothians and Fife Green Network Partnership