The St. Mary's Loch Working Group (SMLWG)

Background

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.

SMLWG_Members

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.

SMLWG_Communications

Programme

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 SMLWG Newsletter Issue No. 2

Latest news

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:  

Board 1: Southern Upland Way

Board 2: SML Sailing Club

Board 3: Tibbie Shiels

Board 4: SML Angling Club

Board 5: Cappercleuch

Show/ hide older news items Show/ hide older news items

MISSION STATEMENT:

“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. ”