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Work to clear decades-old landfill waste from River Ericht in Perthshire to begin next week

Household rubbish
Decades-old rubbish seeping into the River Ericht

Work to stop decades-old rubbish from a historic landfill site seeping into the River Ericht at Blairgowrie will start next week.

Household rubbish, plastic bags and industrial waste dating back to the 1940s has been escaping from an old dump on the banks of the Perthshire river.

Perth and Kinross Council (PKC) says the eight-week clearance programme will see landfill removed from a 60-metre-long stretch of the embankment, which will then be rebuilt to prevent further erosion.

It comes after the Scottish Government announced funding of £95,000 to help clear up the contaminated river in April.

River convenor Robert Kellie attempts to clear up the landfill waste at the River Ericht. Photo: Paul Reid

Local anglers have been leading efforts to collect the landfill waste from the beauty spot.

PKC says rubbish collected from the site will be recycled “as much as possible”.

The project will see “two or three” large trees cut down and replaced by 650 willow trees planted in the face of the river bank.

Another 20 trees – likely to be hawthorn and crab apple – will be planted.

A vintage toothpaste tube found on the banks of the Ericht.

As well as preventing further environmental harm, it is hoped the plans will improve biodiversity on the site at Welton Farm.

Councillor Andrew Parrott, PKC’s environment and infrastructure convenor, said: “Although this site hasn’t been used for landfill for decades this work is necessary to stop erosion and prevent environmental harm.

“Not only will this stop landfill being washed into the river, the new trees will also create a better habitat for all kinds of wildlife in the area.”

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