Water Safety on the River Findhorn

How do you stay safe while visiting the river?

Is there anything better than being by the river as the seasons change? While the River Findhorn is a beautiful place to visit any time of year, autumn, with its stunning displays, often tends to steal the show. A popular place for many Logie visitors, with so much to take in, staying safe while visiting may not always be front of mind.   

With a focus on visitor safety, on the 8th of October 2022, Logie Estate supported an emergency response exercise that took place on the Findhorn River in the vicinity of Randolph’s Leap.  

Led by Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), the mock incident replicated the rescue of a capsized rafting party with a number of casualties needing rescued from the water. With access gained from rocky ledges, the exercise was designed to test emergency services ability to navigate the challenging terrain.  

SFRS Exercise - helicopter over the river with flare

Selected as a plausible scenario, the exercise required close collaboration between SFRS water rescue units from both Elgin and Inverness, the Coastguard rope rescue teams, ACE Adventures, Logie Estate and Moray Estate – everyone who would be involved in a real incident of this nature. 

To watch footage of the helicopter in action, click the below links to visit our YouTube channel:

All Services Simulated Rescue – lowering winchman, River Findhorn

SFRS Exercise - helicopter over the river winching someone up

While the emergency services brought their unparalleled response expertise, local organisations provided essential knowledge of the area, helping to determine where access should be taken and the best means of getting to casualties as quickly as possible. The exercise allowed parties to learn more about each other’s capabilities and how we can support each other should a real incident occur.  

Gareth Luce, Watch Commander of SFRS said: 

‘Multi agency exercises like this help the emergency services prepare for incidents of this nature. Key to resolving incidents is working closely with the landowners who supply us with the local knowledge and experience of the terrain, so we can get our resources in place as soon as possible in order to carry out our tasks on the incident ground.’ 

SFRS Exercise - carrying rescue boat to the river

While the exercise focused on a rafting incident, it is important to note that you don’t need to be in a boat to be at risk around water. With steep sides and slippery surfaces underfoot, as well as risk of trips and falls, entering the water and being swept downstream is a risk for anyone visiting the river – even if you have no intention of getting wet. Even in summer, water in Scotland can be icy cold, enough to induce cold water shock which can seriously affects your capability to move and breathe.   

It’s important to know the key tips on how to react if you do happen to find yourself in the water and struggling to breathe: 

  • Fight your instincts - don't swim hard or thrash about. 
  • Remain calm and try to relax. 
  • Float to live – lie on your back and spread your arms and legs. 
  • Once the initial effects of cold-water shock have passed (about 90 seconds) call for help and look around for anything which you can use to float or get out of the water. 
  • Even when you are out - call 999 - hypothermia could still be a risk. 

Alec Laing, Logie Estate Manager, said 

‘We’re all too aware of the risks of being in and around water and I encourage visitors to take extra care while visiting the Findhorn and other bodies of water. While we hope to never need to use what we have practiced today, it has been of great benefit to test how the various teams would work together should something happen. We are delighted to have been involved.’ 

To find out more about staying safe around water, visit: 

Helicopter in landing field with team assembled - resized

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Water Safety on the River Findhorn

Terms & Conditions for fishing on Logie Estate

  1. Fishing on the river is restricted to 2 rods per beat and is to be by fly only. All fishing is from the right bank. By arrangement with the neighbouring estate there is no left bank fishing on the Relugas Middle and Top beats.
  2. The fishing is split into two 2 rod beats, Logie and Relugas, with Relugas sub divided into Middle and Top.  Beats can be taken together or separately. Logie is fished Monday to Saturday, Relugas Middle on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Relugas Top on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Beats change at midnight.
  3. Fishermen must contact Logie Estate office on 01309 611300 a day or so before arrival to organise being shown onto the river. A map of pools, beats and access routes will be provided.
  4. Bio-security is important to the future of the river and anglers are asked to observe protection measures. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Conservation Code will be strictly observed. To summarise: All fish caught up to 14th May inclusive must be released. From 15th May, all salmon over 9 lbs / 4 kg / 28 inches / 72 cm are to be returned.  Below that measurement at least 70% of salmon and 50% of grilse caught should be released and a maximum of 1 salmon and / or 2 grilse per rod per week may be retained. In September all fish are to be returned. No gaffs or tailers are allowed.
  5. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Bio-security measures will be strictly observed and all fishermen in the party must sign the Bio-security Declaration. (Also available at http://www.fnlft.org.uk/downloads/)
  6. The Estate recommends that barbless hooks are used, fishermen are in possession of a disgorger and that knotless nets are used. All possible care should be taken when returning fish to the river, they should be handled as little, and gently, as possible and should not be removed from the water.
  7. The catch should be reported at the end of each day of fishing to Logie Estate Office on 01309 611300. If the office is closed, please leave a message on the answering machine with the date, weight and pool. Please also report a nil catch day.
  8. Dogs are allowed on the river but must be kept strictly under control at all times. The Estate reserves the right to ask tenants to remove dogs if they are considered to be out of control.
  9. Rod, line and fly size are dependent on prevailing weather and water conditions and personal choice. In general, maximum rod length needed is 13ft with a size 8 or 9 line, usually floating. Fly sizes range from 6 – 8 in the spring down to 12 or less in summer low water.
  10. Safety must be considered at all times. All beats have a variety of pools with some suitable for most heights of water. Little wading is necessary and river paths are good however the fishing is within the Findhorn gorge, access to some of the pools is quite steep and a degree of rock scrambling is often necessary when playing and landing fish. Please be aware that a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required. A buoyancy aid for each rod is provided and should be collected from Logie Estate Office on arrival, and returned to the Estate Office (or to the outbuilding opposite if office is closed) on departure. Logie Estate strongly recommends that buoyancy aids are worn when fishing and not doing so is entirely at fishermen’s own risk. Please pay attention at all times, avoid slips and falls, wear appropriate footwear, look out for overhead electricity lines, watch the weather and pay attention to livestock. Take extra care if fishing alone.
  11. Anglers need to supply or hire their own equipment (except buoyancy aids, which are provided).
  12. Ghillieing/tuition is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. A half day ghillieing/tuition is approx. 3 hours, full day approx. 6 hours. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. Rates do not include discretionary tips.
  13. Rod, Reel & Line hire is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. A rod, reel and line set is for one person and is subject to a fully refundable damage deposit of £100.
  14. Aside from fishermen, others, including rafters and kayakers, enjoy this stretch of river and mutual respect and consideration is expected.
  15. Bookings are confirmed when initial payment is received. Subsequent changes in dates or number or rods are entirely subject to the Estate’s discretion and to availability. Change of dates, if accepted, incur an administration fee. In the event of a cancellation the tenant must advise Logie Estate immediately, whereupon Logie will endeavour to re-let. If a new tenant can be found the deposit will be returned less any expenses incurred for advertising, office costs, etc., and less any shortfalls in discounted list price. Until such time as a vacancy has been re-let the hirer is responsible for making any further payment by the due dates. Failure to do so may mean that the hirer forfeits any refund if the dates are re-let. If it is not possible to re-let, all payments are still payable by the due date(s). It is unlikely that a refund can be made for a late cancellation. Logie Estate recommends that fishermen take out relevant cancellation insurance.
  16. Subletting fishing is only allowed with Logie Estate’s permission.
  17. Logie Estate reserves the right to immediately withdraw fishing without compensation from anyone who breaks these or associated conditions, or flouts normal standards of behaviour or fishing etiquette.