River Almond Barriers Project: Dowies Mill Weir, River Almond, Edinburgh – Improvements to Aid Fish Migration

Closed 25 Feb 2019

Opened 21 Jan 2019


Views are sought on the proposed improvements necessary to Dowies Mill Weir, River Almond, Cramond/Barnton, Edinburgh to enable better passage of migratory fish.

Owners of such barriers to fish migration are required by statute to consider removal (preference) or improvement to fish passage. With 7 barriers on the River Almond requiring action, feedback on initial proposals to improve Dowies Mill Weir are welcomed. 

Why your views matter

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) (Directive 2000/60/EC) commits member states to achieve good qualitative and quantitative status of all water bodies (including marine waters up to one nautical mile from shore). It is essentially a framework for action that prescribes steps to achieve good qualitative and quantitative status of all water bodies. The Directive was transposed into Scot’s law by the Water Environment & Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has identified that physical barriers in particular are preventing fish from navigating long reaches of some water bodies in Scotland, which is ultimately preventing a number reaching good status. Easing or removing these barriers is therefore a priority to improve their status and meet statutory WFD requirements. Preference is for complete removal. The aim is to achieve good status by 2027.

The River Almond Barriers Project identifies ways of improving fish passage throughout the River Almond by easing fish passage at known barriers to fish migration. The project encompasses seven barriers which have a negative cumulative impact on fish populations in the Almond catchment. Two of the seven barriers (Fair-A-Far and Dowies Mill) are situated within City of Edinburgh Council boundaries and are wholly owned by the Council. Fair-A-Far improvement is complete as are several others upstream of Dowies Mill. Such projects are funded by the Scottish Government, managed by the relevant Local Authorities with support of agencies like the Forth Rivers Trust and external consultants. Officers represent the Council on the project steering group and as the overall client.

There is now the opportunity to comment on the proposed method to improve Dowies Mill Weir. This has been concluded by engineering consultant associates through desk assessment, onsite ground and below ground surveying, guidance and best practice from Rivers and Fisheries Trusts and experience/consultation from previously undertaken works. The preferred option at Dowies is removal of much of the weir and improvements to the river banks while retaining the “mill pond” or pool below the old Cramond Brig.

The following documents are available to enable assistance to make comment:

  1. Non-Technical Report
  2. Design Report
  3. Elev 1
  4. Elev 2
  5. Elev 3
  6. Structural Inspection
  7. Order of Cost Estimate
  8. SNIFFER Assessment
  9. Appendix A Ecology
  10. Appendix H Heritage
  11. Appendix I Landscape Appraisal
  12. Appendix J Specification
  13. Indicative Visual


What happens next

You can download the summary of results by clicking here.


  • Exhibition

    From 22 Jan 2019 at 00:00 to 26 Jan 2019 at 00:00

    A public consultation with the hub will be run over a 3-week period (21/01/19 – 10/02/19) supplemented by an exhibition running 22/01/19 – 26/01/19 as follows:
    Venue: Cramond Heritage Trust, The Maltings, 6 Riverside, Cramond, Edinburgh, EH4 6NY.

    • Tuesday 22nd Jan 10:00 – 13:00
    • Wednesday 23rd Jan 17:00 – 19:30
    • Thursday 24th Jan 13:00 – 15:30
    • Friday 25th Jan 10:00 – 13:00
    • Saturday 26th Jan 11:00 – 15:00


  • All Areas


  • Anyone from any background


  • Biodiversity
  • Nature