ONE of the jewels in the crown of Clackmannanshire is the River Devon.

It rises in the high Ochils on Alva Moss before descending through Glen Devon and winding its way past Muckhart, Dollar, Tillicoultry, Alva and Menstrie, and then spilling out into the Forth at Cambus.

The Devon Angling Association is one of the unsung heroes of the river because their members voluntarily donate much of their time to protecting and enhancing the Devon, not just for the benefit of fish, but also for other wildlife and the wider community.

From spring until autumn, dedicated work parties strim pathways to ensure access for both anglers and the general public, clear blockages in the river which may impede migrating fish, build and maintain footbridges, plant trees to prevent erosion and to benefit wildlife, and clear rubbish.

Only recently, team members removed branches that were blocking the fish pass at Dollar Weir during a crucial time in the spawning season for trout and salmon.

The association also patrols the river to ensure anglers have permits, the money from which is ploughed back into the river for its overall benefit.

The association also liaises with landowners over issues that may affect the river, along with fishery boards and trusts, the Scottish Environment and Protection Agency, and a range of other relevant bodies, to ensure the Devon is properly protected and that its environmental importance is recognised at the highest level.

David Mudie, the secretary of the Association, tells me: “The River Devon is a beautiful and dynamic river, which is enjoyed not just by anglers, but also the wider community.

"It is home to a wide variety of wildlife species, some of which are vulnerable, and it is important that their habitats, and the river as a whole, are properly managed and protected.

“The association is proud of its role in looking after the Devon, which helps to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the river and all that it offers.

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