There is a continued long-term habitat restoration programme on the Annan which has seen many improvements being made to date. In the last decade or so around 70 kilometres of riparian fencing has been erected on the Annan by the fisheries board/trust. The erection of fencing to exclude livestock from riparian areas has been proven to have great benefits to river ecosystems. Benefits include reductions in bankside erosion and silt inputs and increased bankside vegetation which generally improves habitat and river morphology and reduces pollutants for fish and other aquatic and terrestrial organisms.
Fencing projects are frequently accompanied by riparian tree planting. Riparian woodlands also play a crucial role in helping maintain the health and productivity of watercourses. Where it is mainly composed of native species, riparian woodland is an important and valuable habitat both for the terrestrial organisms that depend directly on it and for the many aquatic organisms that derive indirect benefits from its presence. As with riparian vegetation, woodland reduces siltation, supplies invertebrates and leaf litter for food, provides shade and cover and may connect existing areas of woodland. An example of the benefits of these activities is shown to the right. The top photo shows a site on the Corrie Water immediately after fencing, the bottom is the same site two years later.