River Restoration – Back Burn

April 29, 2022

Back Burn Restoration Project

Why restore the Back Burn?

The Back Burn has been affected by many man-made changes over time. These include artificial straightening of the burn, with wire baskets filled with stones (gabions) and barriers across the burn such as weirs. Restoring water courses to a more natural condition can bring many benefits, helping to:

• Provide a space for local people to enjoy

• Improve local resilience to climate change

• Support biodiversity

• Reduce flood risk, for instance through natural flood management

• Gain space for nature in a more urban environment.


What is the aim of the project?

To look at the potential to restore 5.8 kilometres of the Back Burn to a more natural state between Rhind Hill in the Lomond Hills and Newton, north of Markinch. Whilst also looking to improve local biodiversity and develop the area with local communities.

Who is undertaking this project?

In conjunction with other initiatives in the Leven Programme, this project has been commissioned by Fife Council and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), supported initially with funding from the Water Environment Fund (WEF). JBA Consulting are working with Fife Council, SEPA and the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust (FCCT) to develop restoration options that can be shared with the local community for their feedback and then taken forward together as the project progresses.


What is happening at the moment?

We are in the design stage of the project, carrying out surveys, research and reviewing information gathered about the current state of Back Burn. This information is being pulled together into options for potential improvement work that will be shared with local landowners and technical stakeholders initially followed by the wider community for consideration in 2023.

We hope to start the improvement works in 2023/2024 subject to funding which is currently being sought.

Community Engagement

Whilst a key aim of this project is about restoring the Back Burn we are really keen to connect with the local community and for them to have a say in how the project is developed through an engagement and consultation process starting later in the year.

As the project evolves we hope to work with local community groups and schools through activities such as tree planting so that not only do the community have a say in the plans for the area, but so that they can leave a local living legacy.

If you are a local community group or organisation and would like to work with us, please get in touch!

If you have any questions about the Back Burn and the River Leven restoration projects email ask.us@fifecountryside.co.uk


This page is under development and will be updated regularly.