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New Banks from Above

New banks from above the valley

[Credit: Header image copyright © Tweed Forum 2019 and used with permission.]

As the River Breamish Riverbank Protection project comes to an end, Tweed Forum Project Officer, Joe Taylforth has been on site again to take some more aerial photographs. These clearly show the extent of the work undertaken and how the project has created new riverbanks from old.

Site 1

Aerial view of Site 1, showing geotextile matting
Aerial view of Site 1, showing geotextile matting

[Credit: Image copyright © Tweed Forum 2019 and used with permission.]

Joe has also been able to confirm that the native species planted in the coir geotextile matting are mainly local willow, with some alder mixed in. A few shrub-like plants have also been incorporated.

Coir matting with newly-planted shrub
Coir matting with newly-planted shrub

Once established, the tree/shrub planting will provide the longer-term riverbank stabilisation.

Bird scrapes

In the aerial image above, on the far right edge of the image in the field adjacent to Site 1, you can see the newly-created bird scrapes. Scrapes are shallow depressions for wading birds. They are designed so that they hold water for only part of the year (1). The turf removed to create the scrapes was used as the backfill at Site 1.

Site 1 aerial view close up
Site 1 aerial view close up

[Credit: Image copyright © Tweed Forum 2019 and used with permission.]

Site 2

Site 2 aerial view
Site 2 aerial view

[Credit: Image copyright © Tweed Forum 2019 and used with permission.]

From above, the over 130 m stretch of riverbank stabilisation and protection work, using mainly log matrix, can be clearly seen. It also shows how perilously close the river came to inundating the road. As Joe points out, “It will look a lot better in the spring when everything is green and the loose sediment has washed away.”


  1. Scottish Government (2017) Supporting guidance for Creation of Wader Scrapes [WWW] Accessed 22 Nov 2019.

Project Timeline

1 River Breamish Riverbank Protection

River Breamish Riverbank Protection header

2 Root Wads Ready

Root Wads Ready header (_P8A8002)

3 Breamish Riverbank Stabilisation

Breamish riverbank stabilisation header

4 Work Begins on Riverbank Stabilisation Scheme

work begins on riverbank stabilisation scheme header

5 Laying Boulders

laying boulders River Breamish header

6 Tipping Top Soil

Tipping top soil River Breamish header

7 Site 1 Levelled

site 1 levelled header (_P8A9240)

8 Site 2 Riverbank Protection Underway

Site 2 riverbank protection underway header

9 Driving Vertical Posts

driving vertical posts header

10 Line Them Up!

line them up header

11 Backfilling Log Matrix

backfilling log matrix header

12 New Banks From Old

new banks from old header

13 New Banks from Above

new banks from above header


  1. Hi, Whilst I appreciate the need for the works on the banks, the ecological assessment failed to pick up the 3 species of reptile that live along those banks. All reptiles are protected by law.
    Common lizard, Slowworm and adder have been recorded along the stretches where work took place.
    My son and I visited the site today 6/12 and we were horrified to find a male adder moving slowly around the bare soil.
    The riparian habitat provides valuable habitat for basking, hibernacula and birthing areas (witnessed this year).
    If any other works are planned please contact me as we can ill afford to lose anymore reptiles or their hibernation sites.

    1. Hello Ian. Thank you for your valuable comments. You will appreciate that is a ‘magazine’ website and simply reports on projects in the area – we have no agency in this particular matter. I will, therefore, pass your comments to Joe Taylforth the Project Officer for Tweed Forum who were overseeing this project. Could you please let me know if it’s OK to pass on your email address to Joe Taylforth so that he can contact you directly either about this particular project or any future projects?

      Many thanks!


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