It’s the end of an era at Fair-a-far weir in Cramond as the old fish pass is broken down to make way for the new and improved structure.
Originally built in 1790 to provide a new water source for the iron works at Fair-a-Far mill, the 30m weir was nearly completely washed away in 1935 during unprecedented floods. Today, although now in a much-improved condition and despite the construction of a fish pass in 1970s, the weir continues to be a barrier to fish migration. It is hoped that the proposed work will enable fish to successfully move upstream and downstream at the site and the weir will no longer serve as a barrier to fish migration. Ultimately, this should result in improvements to the wider biodiversity of the River Almond, bringing benefits for local residents and visitors to the area alike.
Visualisation of new fish pass
Migrating fish have always found it difficult to traverse the three-metre-high structure and the current fish pass is not fit for purpose with fish being unable to find the entrance to the fish pass or make the large jump into the fish pass. A new two-flight fish pass with a resting pool will be constructed on the footprint of the existing pass and will allow fish to find the entrance more easily. It is hoped with this new structure we will see an increase in fish passing this barrier and breeding further upstream in the gravel river beds of the River Almond’s tributaries across West Lothian. An increase in fish in the river will improve it for the many animals, such as otters, heron and kingfishers, increasing the range of species found across the Almond catchment.