Farmers to get help with issues surrounding water pollution

Poaching of watercourses by cattle is an issue NRT is helping farmers to tackle.
Poaching of watercourses by cattle is an issue NRT is helping farmers to tackle.

Farmers in the River Aln catchment area may be eligible for funding and free advice in a bid to tackle diffuse water pollution from agriculture.

The Aln Rural Diffuse Pollution Project is a voluntary scheme which helps farmers and land managers in the River Aln catchment area improve water quality and reduce potential water pollution from agricultural use.

The scheme is being delivered by The Northumberland Rivers Trust (NRT), a charity which aims to restore and safeguard Northumberland’s rivers and streams. Run in partnership with Natural England’s Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) and The Environment Agency, the scheme provides practical solutions and support to farmers and land managers.

Ella Vogel, NRT project officer, said: “The scheme is proving successful in developing ongoing, positive relationships with farmers and working with them to reduce pollution risks to rivers and streams to improve the local environment while being commercially beneficial to their farm business and operations.”

The Northumberland Rural Diffuse Pollution Project scheme has already been used successfully in other parts of the county, where grant funding has been used to create fenced-off ‘buffer strips’ to protect riverbanks from livestock, wetlands to settle out silt and capture material from farm wash-down areas and tree planting.

Susie Hardie, catchment sensitive farming officer, said: “This project is a great example of agencies coming together to work in partnership for the benefit of the local farming community and the wider environment. The project is proving very popular and the works to be implemented will help improve the water quality of the River Aln.”

To find out more about the project and available help for farmers and land managers contact Ella Vogel at ella.vogel@northumber or call 07710651010 or Susie Hardie at susie.hardie@naturaleng or call 07795 305673.