The Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) Project, a partnership between Defra, the Environment Agency and Natural England, aims to deliver practical solutions and support for farmers and land managers to reduce diffuse water pollution from agriculture to protect water quality and the environment.
WRc has been working with the Environment Agency to assess the wider benefits of the advice delivered under the CSF Project in 50 priority catchments across England. The assessment considered environmental impacts of CSF on a spectrum of ecosystem services including: climate regulation, soil quality, air quality, flooding, biodiversity, environmental settings (recreation and amenity), food production, water supply and water quality.
The positive and negative impacts of individual CSF measures on ecosystem services were scored to provide a semi-quantitative estimate of the magnitude and location of benefits at a national and catchment scale. The results provided a relative measure of the level of benefit to each ecosystem service.
Phil Smith, the Environment Agency’s Catchment Sensitive Farming Evidence Manager, said: “The project report is of a high standard and was well-received within the Environment Agency, Natural England and Defra – it addresses a key knowledge gap. The relationship with the WRc team was really open and effective, ensuring a high quality outcome addressing our business needs.”
The Environment Agency has now commissioned WRc to examine how the CSF Project could be adapted, from both a strategic and operational point of view, to broaden the range of ecosystem service benefits and maximise their delivery.
For further information contact Dr Andrew Davey on 01793 865023 or firstname.lastname@example.org