THOUSANDS of trees are to be planted along the "vital" River Teith as part of a restoration project to protect famous species including the Atlantic Salmon.

The work - near Lochearnhead - is set to begin this week and is led by the Forth Rivers Trust following the charity securing under £350,000 worth of funding to restore and improve the headwaters of the River Teith catchment.

The River Teith Catchment Project will see several activities delivered to improve the headwaters of the catchment - which is a Special Area of Conservation.

Tree planting along the river corridor will take place with thousands being planted to eventually provide shade for the river and cover for wildlife such as salmon, trout and lamprey.

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Large pieces of wood will also be added to the river channel to boost instream cover and stabilise and diversify in-stream habitat - something that is lost due to the lack of trees lining the banks.

The wood being placed in the channel will provide cover for fish while using natural river processes to create pools, runs and riffles.

It will also provide a food source for invertebrates, improving the feeding for salmon and trout.

The National:

The project will reduce excessive erosion caused by poor bankside habitat structures using wood and other natural materials to reinforce the banking at key locations.

This will help native vegetation and trees to take hold along these sections of banking and eventually taking over from the woody structures being put in place.

Alison Baker, Forth Rivers Trust director, said: “Creating an environment in which our native fish can thrive is of paramount importance if we are to ensure that we do not lose these iconic species, including Atlantic salmon, trout (both resident and migratory), lamprey and eels.

"These species are declining due to impacts of land use as well as the threats of climate change.

"The Larig as the headwaters of the Teith system is vital for spawning and juvenile fish as well as supporting the ecosystem and wildlife throughout the catchment.

"The work will also start the process of making the river more resilient to an ever-changing climate due to global warming.

"This project is vital for the restoration and protection of nature for future generations to come.”

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NatureScot chief executive, Francesca Osowska, said: “During lockdowns people around the world have valued the direct physical and wellbeing benefits of nature.

"More than ever before, people are starting to understand fully and support powerful arguments to put nature at the heart of our emergence from this crisis.

"As we emerge from the Covid pandemic, investment in a ‘green recovery’ is understood to be the most cost-effective way of making our communities and our nature sustainable and more resilient, while driving inclusive economic development.

“This year new global targets to improve nature will be agreed at a Conference of the Parties in Kunming, China (COP15).

"Alongside COP26 on climate change in Glasgow, Scotland has a huge opportunity to address the many challenges and pressures that nature is facing.

"Nature is at the heart of what we do, and we will continue to deliver the transformational change needed to bring a nature-rich, sustainable and more economically secure future for Scotland.”

Gordon Watson, chief executive at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority, said: “Restoring biodiversity and the natural environment across the National Park is vitally important, which is why we are proud to help fund this excellent example of partners coming together to restore and improve nature and help mitigate the very real effects of climate change.

“Many of our iconic habitats and species in Scotland are in decline so this is important work to restore and improve the headwaters of the River Teith and to create an environment where native fish species can thrive, despite the increase in temperatures that climate change brings.”

The National:

All of the activity has been developed with the landowner who is very supportive of the restoration of the river and improvement of the catchment as a whole.

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Funding has been provided by Nature Scot’s Biodiversity Challenge Fund to support the restoration and improvement of the River Larig within the Teith catchment.

A match funding contribution of £10,000 for the project has also been provided by Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

Trust staff will be delivering on the project throughout the year and there will be opportunities for volunteers to get involved with this work too.

Anyone who would like to be involved can contact Forth Rivers Trust at