– Forest project runs its course

Forest project runs its course

Page 6 - Forest streams digger

Our successful Forest Streams project is celebrating its fifth anniversary as it prepares to come to a close. Funded by the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission it has focused on working with foresters to improve water quality in the burns running through Kielder Forest.


There were low numbers of fish in these burns due to silt and low PH balance in the water, potentially influenced by forestry. The Forest Streams project joined forces with foresters to improve water quality. On a practical level this involved introducing a range of ‘slow the flow’ measures:

  • Disconnecting drainage – this meant that dirty water no longer flows directly into the burn, it first flows into a silt trap , pond or rough ground to filter it
  • Improving forest road drains to reduce the silt going into burns
  • Planting  more than 400 broadleaf trees where  conifers were previously planted in order to stabilise banks, keep the water cool and increase food sources for fish
  • Blocking 24 hectares of forest drains to slow the flow of water and make the ground wetter on unproductive land.

The project has achieved many successes along the way and we hope to see water quality continue to improve as foresters and engineers continue to implement the good practices the project has put in place.