East Suffolk Water Sensitive Farming Initiative
2019 – 2020
Suffolk FWAG are leading a Water Sensitive Farming Initiative (WSF) in East Suffolk.
The East Suffolk Rivers catchment covers 1,364 km2 and encompasses the valleys, tributaries and estuaries of the Rivers Gipping, Deben, Alde, Thorpeness Hundred, Yox, Blyth and Lothingland Hundred.
Only 16% of the surface waterbodies in East Suffolk are at good ecological status – the required standard to meet Water Framework Directive objectives. In addition, the area has been identified as a Priority Catchment for water to trial new approaches to water management.
We have funding to provide advice and capital works to improve soil management to protect the number one natural capital asset to farming. Good soil management will help address risks and threats to water quality from soil run off in East Suffolk. This is an opportunity to improve the management of soil and water resources on your farm and within the wider environment. This follows a successful project in Norfolk involving a range of stakeholders and landowners including the Environment Agency, Catchment Partnership, WWF, Coca-Cola, Tesco, and The Rivers Trust (www.broadlandcatchmentpartnership.org.uk). Water availability is challenging current farming practices in East Suffolk. The sustainable response is to help address both water availability and water quality issues via progressive soil management.
We are offering free advice and up to 80% of the cost of targeted capital works that will improve the sustainability of soil management on your farm.
Advice and funding for capital works are available to:
1. Identify ‘high risk’ soils within the farm and produce a Vulnerability Assessment Map
2. Deliver longer term advice on vulnerable soils and target hotspot areas for alternative management
3. Deliver capital works such as silt traps, buffer zones, cover crops, field corner bunds, tramline disruption, river and floodplain habitat enhancement to slow the flow of water out of the catchment
4. Managing pathways to soil and water loss from the land to maintain soil health and protect watercourses
5. Facilitate co-operation and share the wealth of knowledge held by landowners, land managers and advisors –working with landowners and contractors to identify best practice soil management for individual holdings and fields.
6. Exploring alternative cultivation practices to maintain soil health using new advances in machinery and management techniques
7. Address issues from other sectors such as road run off and highways drainage as pathways to soil and water loss
Contact Tim Schofield firstname.lastname@example.org or Diane Ling email@example.com to get involved