A win-win for all

The Aquifer Partnership project ran a workshop for farmers, land managers and advisers from the Brighton Chalk Block at Plumpton’s Sussex Rural Business Centre.

  • Farmers
  • Land Managers
4 Jul 2019

The workshop provided the latest evidence on nitrates leaching to groundwater and the measures being offered to help address the issue.

This graph shows very clearly the nitrate loss problem ChaMP is working to address. Stephen demonstrated the direct monetary benefit to farmers of better nitrate management. In just one field (38 ha) of winter wheat over £3,000 worth of nitrogen was lost over one winter, a huge sum when scaled up across the ChaMP area.

‘In just one field (38 ha) of winter wheat over £3,000 worth of nitrogen was lost over one winter’

Another great visual demonstration of the nitrate issue came from Richard Gamble, a Southern Water hydrogeologist. Richard presented the results of Southern Water’s karst mapping project. Karst features are fractures and fissures in the chalk which allow water (and therefore any pollutants carried in that water) to pass through to the aquifer very quickly. This photo shows water streaming through such a feature in the chalk.

It’s easy to see how vital it is to map these features and to make sure land management above is sensitive to groundwater.

It was superb to see the momentum that ChaMP is building in the rural environment. The research and soil testing is providing evidence for better management. This backs up the grants that we are offering to land managers for management practices that we know can protect the aquifer. Together we are reducing these nitrate losses to protect groundwater and ensure we can use this natural resource for many years to come.

For more information on support being offered to reduce nitrate leaching contact Robin Kelly.

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