Information for farmers and landowners

Farming is a key part of the economic, social and cultural identity of the Eden with 95% of the land devoted to agriculture.

With approximately 2000 farms in the Eden, many areas suffer from damage to the riverbank due to uncontrolled access by livestock.  Sediment, soil and nutrients can build up in the river, while sewage from urban and rural properties also affects watercourses.  This leads to reduce water quality, putting wildlife habitats at risk and potentially increasing the cost of cleaning drinking water.

We have a dedicated Farming and Conservation team who, over the past ten years have worked closely with farmers in the Eden catchment to address these issues by finding water friendly farming solutions that allow them to produce food profitably whilst protecting our rivers and water supplies for wildlife and people living in the valley and beyond.

Andy (Senior Farming and Conservation Officer) and Sarah (Farming and Conservation Coordinator) having farming backgrounds as well as an appreciation of river conservation. Small, yet perfectly formed, the team is focused on working in priority areas of the Eden catchment.

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Current areas of work

River Petteril Facilitation Fund Farmer Group

(Andy Dyer)

This group is focused on reducing the levels of phosphate and sediment in the catchment. The Facilitation Fund Farmers’ group is part of an initiative funded by Natural England to facilitate engagement with farmers and landowners within the catchment signposting to professional advice, government schemes, providing training and farm focused topical meetings.

If you are a farmer and/or landowner in the Petteril catchment and would like to join the group, please contact Andy on 01768 866788.

Rivers Lowther and Leith Facilitation Fund Farmer Group

(Sarah Kidd)

The focus in this catchment is on Flood Management. An initiative funded by Natural England to facilitate engagement with farmers and landowners within the catchment to provide signposting to professional advice, government schemes, training and farm-focused topical meetings.

If you are a farmer and/ landowner in the Lowther or Leith catchment and would like to join the group, please contact Sarah on 01768 866788.

Collaborative Agreement with Natural England on the Upper Lyvennet and the Scandal Beck

(Andy Dyer)

This project looks at the current Countryside Stewardship schemes available and the potential for uptake on farms in this area. This is coupled with raising awareness of The Farming Rules for Water and the future of Environmental Land Management Schemes.

If you would like to know more, please contact Andy on 01768 866788

Catchment Wise Project on Calthwaite Beck in conjunction with United Utilities

(Andy Dyer)

A project to help improve farm infrastructure, particularly in farmyards, to help reduce phosphate and sediment loading on local watercourses.

If you would like to know more, please contact Andy on 01768 866788

Member of Defra Technical Working Group: Clean Air Strategy

(Andy Dyer)

The Clean Air Strategy 2019 sets out Defra’s plans for dealing with all sources of air pollution, making our air healthier to breathe, protecting nature and boosting the economy. We have been invited to be part of a Defra Technical Working Group (TWG) that will ensure these plans are fit for purpose for both farmers and the environment.

The TWG will be working with the farming industry and key partners to agree on appropriate measures to limit emissions and the Best Available Techniques (BAT) to use – which are determined by reviewing current good practice and identifying improvements that can be made. They will also look at ways to help the rest of the industry so that everyone can reach the standards required.

Another area of concern for the group will be the practical implementation of measures in such a tight timeframe. Manufacturers and the wider construction industry will be consulted to ensure that the capacity, resources and technological advancements are available to meet the deadlines for compliance in low emission spreading and covers/housing.

As members, we will be involved in reviewing all options for reducing ammonia emissions with a view to producing a workable permitting system which recognises best practice and compliance with existing regulation and monitoring.

Read the Clean Air Strategy 2019 >>

 

River Eden Demonstration Test Catchment

(Sarah Kidd)

The River Eden Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) is a Defra funded research project. Its  aim is to assess if it is possible to cost effectively mitigate diffuse pollution from agriculture whilst maintaining agricultural productivity. This project is now coming to and end, so Sarah is leading on decommissioning of the various DTC sites on the Pow Beck.

We are continuing to engage with the academic team delivering the DTC project and with the landowners and farmers on whose land the monitoring equipment is located, leading towards dissemination of the data produced from this monitoring project.

Find out more about the project at http://www.edendtc.org.uk/

Petteril (Bowscar)

(Andy Dyer)

This is a collaborative project with United Utilities to look at ways that nitrate levels can potentially be reduced in water supplied from a borehole. The aim is to meet with farmers and land owners in the catchment for the borehole and devise a strategy to show how nitrate levels can be reduced in the water supply and then to provide some on-going monitoring.

If you would like to know more, please contact Andy on 01768 866788

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