Sustainable Water Friendly Farming

Most farmers are proactive and care about minimising the impact of farm operations on water quality. Regularly used management options include:

  • Adding a measured amount of nutrients to the soil (tailored to the needs of the crops)
  • Not adding pesticides when wet weather is forecast
  • Leaving buffer strips of grass along edges of fields near to rivers and ditches (prevents soil run-off during heavy rain)
  • Managing drainage ditches to contain soil that has run-off
  • Cleaning farm equipment in designated areas so any pesticides, etc. are not washed into drains leading to groundwater, rivers or ditches

However, nothing is full proof and many issues come down to how soils are managed in the field. Run-off from agricultural land can have a significant role in how well a river ecosystem functions. This risk is estimated to be a threat to more than half of all the water bodies (ditches, brooks, streams, rivers) with the CamEO catchment.

Our partners recognise the great lengths that farmers already go to to ensure that run-off is minimised. For this reason we want to work more closely with the agricultural sector, rather than against, to share latest knowledge and understanding and support decision making in our priority areas. CamEO has an independent agricultural advisor, Ed Bramham-Jones, who is currently working with Norfolk Rivers Trust to visit farmers in the catchment as part of our CamEO water sensitive farming project

One way that we can all support farmers is by highlighting the specific issues that our rivers can face from farm operations: