River basin management

River basin floodingThe Allerton Project is located in the upper reaches of the River Welland, which enters the North Sea at the Wash. The area is one of clay soils and an undulating mixed farmland landscape, with wheat and oilseed rape as the main arable crops, and beef cattle and sheep as the main livestock. As with most rivers across the UK, food production has an impact on water quality, both in terms of its ecological status, and in terms of drinking water supply.

Alongside the National Farmers’ Union, Anglian Water, Environment Agency, Natural England, Catchment Sensitive Farming, Welland Rivers Trust and others, we are partners in the Welland Valley Partnership. We coordinate a Resource Protection Group (RPG). which brings together those with interest in a range of natural resources in the river basin, including its soil and wildlife, as well as its water.

Welland Local Farmer NetworkThis provides a mechanism to enable us to share our research results directly with those who can make best use of them on the ground. It also enables us to capture feedback from others. With AHDB, we have initiated an Arable Business Group, enabling us to understand the economic challenges these businesses face, and providing a direct link between our research activities and local farm businesses.

Both the RPG and the Arable Business Group play an increasing role in helping to set our research agenda for our soil management research projects such as SoilCare, closing the circle and ensuring that our research is directly relevant to both farmers and environmental interests.

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