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River South Esk
The River South Esk is a high energy river. Its upper reaches are on granite in the Cairngorms massif, its middle reaches are in the foothills of the Cairngorms in glacial valley floors and its lower reaches are in the coastal plain. The catchment is 488 km2  and average daily flow of 12.3m3s-1. southesk03 300


Water quality is good with the exception of the Pow Burn (poor), Melgun Burn (moderate) and the Lemno and Noran being classed as Heavily Modified Water Bodies. Montrose Basin is classed as moderate to poor.

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The South Esk starts in the CNP, it is a SAC and flows into a SAC, SPA and Ramsar site (Montrose Basin). There are several SSSI within the catchment. It is known to support the BAP habitats blanket bog and coastal and floodplain grazing marsh and is also likely to support bogs, fens, fen, marsh and swamp, neutral grassland, purple moor grass and rush pastures and wet woodland.

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The sensitive habitats riverside aspen stands, riverside birch woods and lush bank vegetation are also likely to be present. Protected species known to be present in the catchment are long-leaved anomodon, river jelly lichen, otter, water vole, water shrew, bats, kingfisher, grey wagtail, house martin, dipper, common sandpiper, lapwing, redshank, snipe, curlew, oystercatcher, cormorant, great crested grebe, heron, coot, moorhen, goosander, black-headed gull, common toad, common frog, smooth newt, palmate newt, salmon, freshwater pearl mussel. In addition BAP/LBAP species known to be present are river shingle beetles. BAP/LBAP species likely to be present are a stonefly, northern blue damselfly and aspen. SNH holds RCS and RHS data, SEPA holds RHS data from 3 sites and Angus Council holds additional RHS data.


Biosecurity Issues

INN species include Japanses Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam, Giant Hogweed, American signal crayfish, rainbow trout (escapees from the trout farm at Kinnaird) and mink.

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