Loch Flemington

A small shallow loch in the E of Highland Council Area, Loch Flemington is situated 2 miles (3 km) north northeast of Croy and 5½ miles (9 km) southwest of Nairn. The loch extends to 14 ha (34.6 acres) and formed in a kettle-hole - a feature created as a result of the last glaciation. The loch has no obvious outlet and supports a largely undisturbed aquatic plant community associated with eutrophic (nutrient-enriched) conditions, including diverse submerged and emergent vegetation together with sedge fen. The loch supports a nationally-important breeding population of Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus which brought its designation as a Special Protection Area (SPA) in 1997. The SPA extends to 21 ha (51.9 acres) and forms part of the Kildrummie Kames Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The eutrophic conditions have given rise to a series of summer blooms of blue-green algae, resulting in the death of all its fish in 1995. Long-term study by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (based near Edinburgh) gave rise to a restoration project in 2009. This restoration has involved the application of Phoslock, a clay-based chemical treatment which removes phosphates from the water. This brought a significant improvement in water quality. In 2011, a further project was undertaken to remove the invasive aquatic plant New Zealand Pigmyweed, which has spread after escaping from garden centres in the 1970s.

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