Case study - Reducing other pressures - reversing a legacy of water pollution at Loch Leven National Nature Reserve

Our freshwater systems are subject to a wide range of pressures from both human activity and climate change, depending on where they are located. Perhaps there is no better example of a freshwater loch that is subject to a wide range of pressures than Loch Leven. A National Nature Reserve (NNR) located mid-way between Edinburgh and Perth in the central Lowlands of Scotland, Loch Leven is surrounded by towns, villages, arable farming and industry. As a result of competing demands on its freshwater resource, it has long battled with water pollution. Climate change impacts can exacerbate the effects of pollution, and where this occurs, management of water quality becomes even more important.

Although we can do things to try to reduce or mitigate climate change, it is already affecting our freshwater habitats. Therefore, we must look at how we help our most vulnerable freshwater habitats to adapt to the effects of climate change. One option is to try to reduce the wide-ranging ‘human’ pressures causing poor water quality in the first place. Here we explore how improved land management around Loch Leven has improved the water quality and resilience of the loch to future pressures we may not be able to control.

Pages: 13
Published: 2015

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