Farm Herefordshire

You can view the latest films from Farm Herefordshire by clicking on the links below:

The Rivers Wye and Lugg are Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), a European designation which protects their high ecological status.  This status is threatened by phosphate pollution leading to enhanced eutrophication, altering the natural ecological balance of the rivers.  In 2013 the Bulmer Foundation, together with Herefordshire Rural Hub, was tasked by Natural England to write a Phosphate Reduction Feasibility Study looking at what action could be taken to reduce phosphate levels in these waterbodies, and who would be involved in delivering this in Herefordshire.

The research involved a review of current knowledge and consultation with delivery agents and stakeholders and the Report was submitted to the:

  • Tri-annual review of the Environment Agency and Natural England.
  • Marches Local Enterprise Business Plan.

Approximately 50% of phosphate inputs in the Severn river basin, of which the Rivers Wye and Lugg form a part, arise from agricultural diffuse pollution sources, the other 50% coming from household and industrial sources.

Phosphates are found in agricultural fertilisers and manures, in wastewater and sewage so that farmers, industry, water companies and communities all have a role to play in helping achieve good water quality for the future.

The overall solution is difficult to implement and the Bulmer Foundation became involved in a Nutrient Management Partnership (NMP) with Herefordshire Rural Hub, the England Catchment Sensitive Farming Initiative, the Wye and Usk Foundation, National Farmers Union, Country Land and Business Association, Duchy Estates, Natural England, the Environment Agency, Herefordshire Council and other stakeholders. The partnership will investigate what needs to be done to change the phosphate levels in the medium to long term and will implement a Nutrient Management Plan in order to bring phosphate levels down to the permissible EU target amount by 2027. 

During 2015 the NMP developed into Farm Herefordshire, focusing on promoting profitable farming alongside healthy soils and clean water courses.   Farm Herefordshire (FH) has been active raising the profile of the initiative amongst the land based sector. Funding received from the Environment Agency has enabled FH to be present at more than 20 events within the County, speaking to farmers about the importance of good soil management. FH has also begun working with agronomists and advisers to the farming community, as they are key advisers relating to soil management. A series of short videos has been commissioned demonstrating good practices and these are being filmed and made available above.

Farm Herefordshire's leaflet can be downloaded here or hard copies obtained via emailing: Hub@herefordshireruralhub.co.uk or tel: 01432 268428.

Nick Read and Dr Nancy Oakes at the Bulmer Foundation would be pleased to hear from you with questions regarding this project.  Contact e-mails below:

Nick Read OBE - nick.read@bulmerfoundation.org.uk

Dr. Nancy Oakes MIEnvSc - nancy.oakes@bulmerfoundation.org.uk

Stimulate

The Bulmer Foundation carried out the Phosphate Reduction Feasibility Study to address recognised problems in watercourse management and host the Herefordshire Nutrient Management Partnership. This has developed into Farm Herefordshire.

Influence

The Report was submitted to the Tri-annual review of the Environment Agency and Natural England and contributed to the River Wye SAC Nutrient Management Plan.

Collaborate

The Bulmer Foundation is involved in a Nutrient Management Partnership with Herefordshire Rural Hub and other stakeholders to investigate what needs to be done to change river phosphate levels in the medium to long term. The list of collaborators in Farm Herefordshire can be viewed on the leaflet (link above).

Change

Farm Herefordshire will work with farmers, community groups and organisations to help deliver a phosphate awareness initiative and promote soil management behaviour change.