Loch Errochty


Loch Errochty

Infobox lake
lake_name = Loch Errochty
image_lake = Loch_Errochty,_eastern_end.jpg
caption_lake = The eastern end from Beinn a' Chuallaich
image_bathymetry =
caption_bathymetry =
location = Perth and Kinross, Scotland
coords = Coord|56|45|40|N|4|8|40|W|region:GB_type:waterbody|display=inline,title
type = freshwater loch, reservoir
inflow =
outflow =
catchment =
basin_countries = United Kingdom
length = 5 km
width = 1 km
area = 3.03 km²
depth =
max-depth =
volume =
residence_time =
shore =
elevation = 330 m
islands =
cities =
frozen =

Loch Errochty is a man made freshwater loch in the Scottish Highlands it is situated within the Perth and Kinross council area.

Overview

The Errochty dam lies at the head of Glen Errochty, two km NW of the hamlet of Trinafour at the approximate grid reference of gbm4ibx|NN689654. The loch has an area of 303 hectares [http://www.almanacofscotland.co.uk/lochs.htm www.almanacofscotland.co.uk.] Gives surface area of loch.] and is 5 km long and a kilometre across at its widest point, it is entirely man made being created in the 1950s by the damming of the Errochty Water as part of the Tummel hydro-electric power scheme. The loch stands at 330 metres above sea level. The dam itself is an example of a diamond-headed buttress dam, it is 49 metres high and 354 metres across. Water from Loch Errochty is diverted through a 10 km long tunnel to the Errochty hydroelectricity power station at the western end of Loch Tummel. The gatehouse for the tunnel at Loch Errochty is near the southern shore, the actual intake is beneath it at the bottom of the loch. The power station has a maximum output of 75 MW and is the largest power producer of the nine main stations in the Tummel scheme. Water is released from the dam to compensate the flow of the Errochty Water, this compensation water flows down a pipeline for 1.5 km to the very small hydro power station at Trinafour before being released into the Errochty Water. [http://schulen.eduhi.at/kultfor/eee/energy/energy/hydroes.htm Hydro-Electricity Sites and Generating Capacity in Scotland.] Gives details of dam dimensions and power station details.]

Water supply to the loch

Loch Errochty’s main feeder streams are the Allt Sléibh and the Allt Ruighe nan Saorach which both rise in the high ground to the west of the head of the loch. Other small streams flow directly off the 892 metre high mountain of Beinn a' Chuallaich which stands just to the south. Supplementary water is diverted into the loch from the east by the Errochty catchwater, a system of tunnels and surface pipelines at a height of approximately 380 metres which redirects water from five small tributary streams of the River Garry, and the Garry itself. The catchwater then goes through a tunnel in the hill which separates the Garry and Errochty valleys to join the loch. This method of re-directing water allows it to be used more often to generate electricity. Some of the water within the Tummel scheme passes through five of the power stations and thus generates electricity five times. [http://www.sepa.org.uk/hmwbworkinggroup/studies/uk/tummel.pdf Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.] Gives details of Errochty Catchwateer.] [http://www.swehs.co.uk/docs/news33.html#item22 South Western Electricity Historical Society.] States that some of the water is used five times to generate electricity within the Tummel scheme.]

Access and fishing

The north shore of the loch has a narrow surfaced road which is not open to general traffic, there being a locked gate at Trinafour to prevent access. The south side of the loch has extensive woodlands in the area around the dam wall. A track goes through the woodland from Trinafour and then continues in open country along the south shore until it reaches the ruin of Ruighe nan Saorach. Recreational fishing is popular on the loch with some large specimens of Pike and Perch being present. There are no salmon in the loch as a fish ladder has not been provided to allow the passage of migrating fish past the dam. Permits to fish are required from the Auchleeks estate. [http://wheretofish.spinfish.co.uk/WheretoFishPike.html Where To Fish.] Gives details of fishing on loch.]

Old buildings

The southern shore of the loch has numerous remains of old buildings, this is believed to be the remnants of old sheep farms which were in the valley before it was flooded. The remains include old farmsteads, shielings and sheep pens, some with walls 30 cm (12 ins) high. Many more of the remains are now believed to be under water. [http://www.pkht.org.uk/SiteDetails.asp?MonUID=MPK263 Perth & Kinross: Historic Environment Record.] Gives details of old buildings on south shore.]

References


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