The St. Mary's Loch Working Group (SMLWG)
The St. Mary’s Loch Working Group (SMLWG) is a formal grouping of parties with an interest in St. Mary's Loch (SML). It is intended to be the body through which consideration of matters relating to SML can be discussed and considered. The SMLWG has been formed by the Project Team of the Selkirk FPS to allow the Selkirk FPS Project Team to consider possible modifications to the management of SML under the SML Option (more details).
The Working Group was formed by the Council further to consultation with the main statutory stakeholders: i.e. Scottish Water (SW), Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), The River Tweed Commissioner (RTC) and other key stakeholders: i.e. Ettrick & Yarrow Community Council, local public representatives, the Riparian Owners, The Loch Users, Yarrow Valley Residents etc. The final structure of the group was designed so that it included representation from all main statutory stakeholders and representation from those that own, use and live in the local area. Please click on the image provided to see the structure of the SMLWG.
An initial meeting of the Working Group was held on 14th September 2010 to discuss the intentions of the Council and the structure of the Working Group.
A meeting was held in Tibbie Shiels on 23rd November 2010 to discuss the Working Group with the public and the structure and membership was agreed on that night.
The Feasibility Study
Prior to the including the SML Option in the Selkirk FPS Preferred Scheme, the Project Team had completed sufficient work to be confident that the SML Option is technically possible. This initial assessment allowed the Council to approve the Project Team's desire to explore this option further.
Feasibility Study has been undertaken for Council by their design consultants, Halcrow Group. This study pulls together all aspects of the proposals to make a determination on the viability of modifying the existing management system of the loch for the purposes of flood protection. This study reports on how any modifications can be achieved (i.e. what is to be done), the various financial commitments associated with it both now and in future years (i.e. what it will cost) and considers in detail the impact and mitigation measures that may be necessary as a result of implementing any modifications to the loch operation. The study also considers the benefits and disadvantages of any modifications.
The SML Feasibility Study has been completed and the report has been reviewed by all members of the SMLWG. The Feasibility Study concluded that the use of St. Mary's Loch to provide flood storage is an through an intelligent control system is both a technically and economically viable option and should be included in the Selkirk FPS.
The programme of the SML Option is part of the Selkirk FPS Programme. Please CLICK HERE to see the Project Programme.
In summary, the key dates associated with the SML Option are:
The SMLWG Newsletters
The SMLWG have designed a newsletter to provide you with regular updates on progress made by the working group. The decision to produce this newsletter was further to requests by many of you. We appreciate your concerns and hopes that potential modifications to the Loch could bring. This newsletter is intended to keep you informed. It is intended to produce a copy after every meeting from of the working group.
The SMLWG Newsletter Issue No. 1
The 4th meeting of the SMLWG was held on 27th July 2011, where it was confirmed and agreed with all members that the SML Option should be included in the Selkirk FPS. The SML Feasibility Study has been completed and the report has been reviewed by all members of the SMLWG.
The Feasibility Study concluded that the use of St. Mary's Loch to provide flood storage is an through an intelligent control system is both a technically and economically viable option and should be included in the Selkirk FPS.
In June this year, the Council installed a set of marker posts and public notice boards to show the difference in water levels associated with both the existing situation and the proposed new loch level control system at St. Mary's Loch. The boards are available for download at the following links:
The 3rd Meeting of the SMLWG was held on 12th April 2011. The Project Team reported to the Working Group on progress; there were various discussions on the issues remaining and information not yet available; and the Project Team received a list of actions to complete before the Group could meet again. The next meeting will be held sometime around the end of June 2011.
The Feasibility Study being produced by Halcrow has been delayed in its completion. The draft of the Study should now be available to members of the SMLWG by mid-May for review. The main reason for the delay is the new requirement to undertake a 'drought modelling' exercise with Scottish Water. The Project Team, being engaged in a flood protection project, did not appreciate the work involved in this but fully accept that the SML Option requires to ensure that the proposals will not result in the Yarrow going dry during a 'drought scenario'.
The Project Team were instructed to develop a set of Public Notice Boards and Marker Posts to explain the water levels associated with flooding and the SML Option to the general public. More info will be provided on the website and via the 2nd Issue of the SMLWG Newsletter towards mid-May once this is developed
The 3rd Meeting of the SMLWG is due to be held on Tuesday 12th April 2011 at SBC Headquarters.
The Project Team have completed the design for the SMLWG website page. This will be updated regularly to keep you informed of developments on this Scheme Option.
Halcrow are ongoing in developing the technical aspects of the SML Option. This is known as the Feasibility Study and a draft will be completed for the SMLWG Meeting No. 3 for the working group to review.
Within the scope of the Topographic Survey No. 2 a survey was completed at key locations around the perimeter of St. Mary's Loch. This information will allow the Project Team to model the effects of rising and lowering the Loch levels so that an understanding of Loch levels can be achieved
The 2nd Meeting of the SMLWG was held on 24th February 2011
Various working meetings were held with Scottish Water and SEPA in advance of the SMLWG Meeting No. 2 to develop the scope of the Feasibility Study and to advance agreement on the Hydrological data to be used in the Project Team's Model
A draft of the SMLWG Newsletter was developed throughout December and January further to a decision taken at the SML Users Meeting that a newsletter would be produced
A public meeting was held at Tibbie Shiels on 23rd November 2010. This meeting was called to allow the various 'Users' of SML an opportunity to feed into the establishment of the SMLWG. To view the presentation delivered to the meeting CLICK HERE. To view the record of the Questions and Answers session CLICK HERE
An initial meeting (Meeting No. 1) of the SMLWG was held on 14th September 2010 with the various statutory and other interested parties to develop a draft structure for the SMLWG.
“The St. Mary’s Loch Working Group (SMLWG) will review the options presented to it by the Selkirk FPS with a view to determining if the St. Mary’s Loch Catchment can provide additional flood protection benefits whilst protecting the interests of those that already use the Loch. ”