In order to deliver environmental improvements to the catchment we need to make sure that we work closely with land owners and land managers. The majority of land within the catchment is privately owned agricultural land and so represents the biggest source of diffuse pollution.
Diffuse pollution can be difficult to identify, locate, and control and includes a range of pollution ‘types’ such as nitrates, phosphates, pesticides, and faecal indicator organisms. On their own these types of pollution may only have a small, localised negative effect, but when combined with the outputs from multiple sources these pollutants can have a serious negative impact on water quality.
What is PINPOINT?
Many farming activities have a positive effect on the environment although some can have a negative effect. Through PINPOINT specially trained advisers can visit farms to give advice on how farm and land management could be changed to try and reduce the impact of farming on the catchment’s watercourses.
Some of the improvements PINPOINT advisers focus on include habitat creation, improving soil management, reviewing fertiliser and pesticide use, clean and dirty water seperation, and restoring hedgerows and boundaries.
These improvements don’t just help the environment, they can also help to save farmers money by reducing the amount of time spent disposing of slurry, improving livestock condition, reducing the quantity of fertiliser and pesticides needed, and reducing soil erosion. The AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) estimates that soil compaction alone can easily cost up to £250/ hectare in lost sward productivity and utilisation.
PINPOINT training will provide the necessary skills land managers and environmental professionals need to properly understand what diffuse pollution is, it’s causes, and ways in which it can be reduced.
This activity will also help to show land managers and environmental professionals how the farming business works and how farming links land and water, ensuring that they understand which land management changes and techniques are appropriate for each farm.
So far PINPOINT training has been delivered to Burnley College, Myerscough College, Young Farmers groups, local land agents, delegates from other Rivers Trusts, and many other conservation organisations and land management companies.