DOES the Mosset Burn need to be dredged to ease silting?
What can be done to return the water level at Sanquhar Pond to what it once was?
Issues around the local watercourse were discussed at an initial meeting of interested parties at Forres House Community Centre facilitated by Forres Community Council (FCC), including Moray Council and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).
FCC chairman Graham Hilditch explained concerns had been raised about the general state of the burn and its banks.
He said: "We decided to get key stakeholders together for an initial meeting to see if there was any way forward.
"As well as the council and SEPA, Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie Fisheries Trust and the Sanquhar pond working group were invited to express opinion."
The area of concern is from the Chapelton flood prevention dam through Sanquhar to the mouth of the Mosset, which has problems with siltation, overgrown banks, hogweed infestation and littering.
Cllr Hilditch said: "Each stakeholder has their own interests so it was good for everyone to see the issues from other perspectives. We agreed that dredging would not be viable. Overgrown banks and trees in the burn can be good for wildlife and fish. It was also agreed we would commission an expert to assess the cause of the silting and find a solution."
The Mosset Burn has not been dredged for at least 50 years. SEPA inspected the burn six months ago and found there was no immediate threat to it. Bob Laughton of the fisheries trust also confirmed eels are thriving in the river and salmon are spawning.
However, Mr Laughton also suggested that tree felling upriver on the Altyre Estate may have caused erosion which is leading to siltation. It is hoped that an action group will take on the responsibility of fund-raising for the work and hold regular meetings in future with progress updates.