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waves - dee_catchment_intro

General Introduction to the River Dee and its Tributaries

The River Dee and its catchment of 17 major tributaries are located in Aberdeenshire, North East Scotland. The River Dee itself rises in the Cairngorm Mountains, now part of the Cairngorms National Park, and flows 130 kilometres through hills and rolling lowlands to the city of Aberdeen and into the North Sea. Select this link to see a map of the catchment area.

The source of the river is considered to be at the Wells of Dee, a series of mountain pools located over 1200 metres on the upper slopes of Braeriach in the Cairngorms National Nature Reserve (NNR).

The catchment of the River Dee is of exceptional value in terms of nature conservation and is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). To find out more about the Dee as a designated SAC, select this link.

The River Dee is not navigable, except in the estuary which has become Aberdeen’s harbour, and there is an absence of heavy industry in the catchment. These circumstances have prevented the river from suffering in the past from the impact of industrial pollution, thus the Dee is regarded as one of the least contaminated of the larger Scottish rivers. However, some of the sub-catchments are subject to intensive agriculture and show symptoms of eutrophication. Select this link for more information.

The River Dee and its tributaries are a valuable regional water resource. Although the majority of the catchment population lies within the City of Aberdeen (pop. approximately 210,000), the majority of the other settlements upstream lie on or close to the river. The major settlements include the villages of Banchory, Aboyne, Ballater and Braemar.

The natural beauty and characteristics of the catchment are a great asset supporting the local economy through its attraction as a tourism destination and its recreational provision. The catchment supports one of Scotland’s most important salmon fisheries as well as providing the backdrop to the Royal family’s home at Balmoral.

The 3 Dee Vision Project is part of the NOLIMP Water Framework Directive Project and is funded by the European Interreg IIIB North Sea Programme.
European Community European Regional Development Fund Interreg North Sea Region Nolimp logo