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Fleet, River

The River Fleet rises to the east of Balnadelson, 1½ miles (2.5 km) east southeast of Lairg in E Sutherland. It flows southeast for 11 miles (18 km) through Strath Fleet to reach the tidal Loch Fleet. Its more significant tributaries include the Lettie River, Torbreck Burn and River Carnaig. A causeway called The Mound and a bridge, both built by Thomas Telford in 1816, lie across the mouth of the river. Sluice gates restrict the effects of the tide and prevent flooding, while opening automatically with the receding tide to allow salmon to proceed upstream to their spawning grounds. The build up of silt and mud behind these structures has narrowed the river and allowed the growth of vegetation, including the most significant estuarine Alder woodlands in the British Isles which are now recognised as a nature reserve.


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