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The Tweed Foundation

The Howden Cauld

The Tweed Foundation is a Charitable Trust set up by the River Tweed Commissioners to promote the development of fish stocks in the Tweed River System. It is engaged in an extensive programme of biological research, monitoring and habitat enhancement with the aim of protecting Tweeds valuable fish stocks and maximising the rivers natural productivity. The Tweed catchment covers 2,000 sq miles with the regions topography ranging from high uplands to intensive arable land in the east. The catchment covers 2,000 miles of rivers and streams with 7 major tributaries, which studies have shown can have very different fish populations and differing ranges of problems. The catchment sustains larger runs of Salmon in the Autumn with a much smaller Spring fishery, which is currently the subject of major research and enhancement projects. There are also substantial runs of Sea trout and a good population of resident Brown Trout.

The Tweed Foundation is at the forefront in developing a more scientific and professional approach to freshwater fisheries management. Its habitat enhancement projects aim to ensure that fish have access to as much spawning territory as possible and that the best environmental conditions exist in the spawning and nursery streams to maximise the production and survival of the juvenile stocks; much of Foundations work, carried out in conjunction with farmers and landowners, is devoted to enhancing the spawning streams in the headwaters of the catchment to assist this process. The Ettrick and Yarrow valleys have provided a particular focus for a large amount of habitat restoration work with miles of fencing work being undertaken to allow the backside vegetation to regenerate and provide food and cover for fish and other aquatic life, and instream works to provide improved stream structure to areas of burn which were previously unable to sustain fish populations. Regular monitoring work is undertaken to gauge the success of works done.

The Ettrick river system supports the spring salmon run of Tweed and is, therefore, a vital area for our conservation efforts. The fish counter, which the Foundation has installed at Philiphaugh, allows us to monitor how many returning adult salmon enter the system to spawn to produce the future salmon population on Tweed.

The Foundation has links with the local Angling Associations and also undertakes a large amount of scientific research and monitoring work on Brown Trout - in conjunction with the clubs - and other freshwater species.

Fund-raising is crucial to the amount of work the Tweed Foundation can undertake. In 1999, the Foundation secured funding as part of a catchment-wide project - The Tweed Rivers Heritage Project - aimed at protecting and enhancing the natural, built and cultural heritage of Tweed by working in partnership with others with an interest in the well-being of the Tweed environment. This project was successful in securing Heritage Lottery funding, involving a programmed spend of around 4m over the next three years. The Foundations own project within the bid (the Riparian Habitats Project) aims to expand its habitat work and amounts to a spend of 0.25m.

The Tweed Foundation is funded by private donations, public grants and its membership. Every 1 received enables the Foundation to attract another 4-5 from other grant-aid sources. Support from our members is vital and new members are always welcome. Members receive newsletters and reports. Please contact us for further details:

The Tweed Foundation
Drygrange Steading
Tel: 01896 848271
Fax: 01896 848277

See also: The Tweed Foundations work in the Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys