Ecological Impacts of Catchment Sensitive Farming and Diffuse Water Pollution

October 18, 2012 Categories: Latest News

The Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) Project provides voluntary advice to farmers and land managers on measures they can implement to reduce diffuse water pollution from agriculture. As part of the CSF monitoring and evaluation programme, WRc has recently been commissioned by the Environment Agency to undertake a national assessment of the impacts of the CSF programme on riverecology. 

Previous evaluation work has focused on measuring farmer awareness of diffuse pollution, modelling changes in pollutant loss, and analysing improvements in water quality. Building on the successes of this earlier work, the Environment Agency plans to review available monitoring data to seek evidence of trends in biological metrics and to relate these trends to changes in water quality and the extent and timing of CSF advice activity. 

The project aims to explore the potential of ecological data to add an extra dimension to the CSF evaluation programme and to identify effective and cost-effective strategies for future monitoring. Ultimately, it is hoped that this work will provide powerful evidence that can be used to convince farmers to take action against diffuse water pollution. 

The project will be delivered by a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in freshwater ecology, diffuse pollution, statistics, GIS and database development. Let through the new Environmental and Sustainability Advice, Support & Delivery Services (ESASDS) Framework, the project is an example of WRc’s work in applying cutting-edge statistical techniques to extract meaningful information from large, complex datasets. 

For further information contact Dr Andrew Davey on 01793 865023 or

Freya Webb Brand and MarketingTel: +44 (0) 1793 865021