The main aim of the Leam Partnership Project is to improve the understanding amongst farmers of diffuse water pollution from agriculture, in particular its impact on biodiversity and the quality of water abstracted for drinking water.
The partnership was formed in 2011 by Severn Trent Water, Natural England and the Severn Rivers Trust to tackle the high phosphate and pesticide levels within the rivers of the Leam catchment.
The local Catchment Officer, Melissa Hoskings, supports farmers in making changes to farming practices to mitigate diffuse pollution in the local area. These are not necessarily expensive changes and they often lead to the farmer saving money in the long-term. Farmers are also encouraged to participate in free land management workshops; pesticide training events; and apply for grants to make improvements to farm infrastructure.
The project has been running for over 3 years now and has seen over 300 farmers engage with the initiative so far. In addition to this, the Leam Partnership Project has helped to deliver:
- Over 15Km of watercourse fencing and riparian protection
- Soil testing and nutrient management plans to 30 farmers
- Pesticide training to over 75 farmers and contractors
- One to one farm infrastructure advice to 50 farms
- Farm pesticide trials, including hosting the Metaldehyde Stewardship Group voluntary metaldehyde guidelines scheme
- Fertiliser calibration and sprayer MOT’s for 30 farmers
- 5 events per year to learn new techniques & share best practise farming
- The very first bioreactor in the UK!
If you would like further information on the initiative then please contact Melissa Hoskings.