The Demonstration Test Catchments (DTC) project is a joint Defra, Environment Agency (EA) and Welsh Assembly Government initiative working in three river catchments – the Wensum in Norfolk plus the Eden (Cumbria) and Avon (Hampshire).

The overall objective of the project is to provide evidence to test the hypothesis that it is possible to cost effectively reduce the impact of agricultural diffuse water pollution on ecological function while maintaining food security through the implementation of multiple on-farm measures across whole river catchments using local expertise to solve local problems. [READ MORE]


What's in the news?

  • 28 Jul 2016: Catching up with catchment news Two new newsletters have been added to this website - the latest roundup from the DTC programme, and also from the Broadland Catchment Partnership.
  • 27 Jul 2016: Excellent cartoon video from the Eden DTC Image from Sim Reaney's cartoon video This cleverly constructed cartoon video discusses in a very engaging way the costs of diffuse pollution to farmers based on the monitoring data from the EdenDTC project and illustrates the potential mitigation actions that could be taken to minimise the losses. To view it [Click here].

  • 07 Jul 2016: Sharing experience of integrated catchment management Ger Shortle at DTC meeting UEA July 2016 Catchment management practitioners got together with DTC researchers from the Avon, Eden and Wensum for a day-long meeting at UEA. Ger Shortle told us about the Irish Agricultural Catchments Programme that has been running for nine years. This project evaluates the effectiveness of the Government's Nitrate Actions Programme (NAP) which has stocking rates, N and P limits, slurry storage, spreading constraints, buffer zones etc, that all farmers have to abide by. Ger reported that reduction in stream P concentration took over 6 years to begin to be revealed and indicated that the project was highlighting that education and effective nutrient management advice and information (including encouraging active use of nutrient management plans as a management tool), as well as ensuring that the measures within NAP are being followed, were key to improving water quality. Neil Punchard of the Broadland Catchment Partnership impressed the audience with the volume and breadth of work that has been undertaken to develop the partnership and enhance the catchment in the four years it has been operating. Updates were also given on the DTC research. Afternoon workshops considered how the lessons learned from the DTC work could best be disseminated and the further work needed to overcome barriers to ensure better catchment management in future. For the key points highlighted from the workshops [click here].

  • 05 Jul 2016: Beans up to our ears! Bean field soil sampling at Salle Intrepid UEA researchers, deep in a jungle of beans. Searching for soil sampling sites when the growth is this high is no mean feat! The work must go on, testing bulk density, penetration and infiltration rate. With all those woollies who would believe it's July!

  • 30 Jun 2016: Royal Norfolk Show The Wensum DTC participated in showcase of UEA research at the Royal Norfolk Show. Examples of oilseed radish plants were grown by Gilla Sunnenberg especially for the ocassion and the stand enjoyed a steady stream of interested visitors throughout the day including UEA Vice Chancellor Professor David Richardson (pictured).
Royal Norfolk Show

To read more about what's been happening see our News page.

View Wensum DTC Google Earth project
Wensum Google Earth project
Explore the Wensum catchment from the comfort of your own computer using this 'Google Earth' project developed by GIS expert Gilla Sunnenberg. [Click here] to view the project.
Out and about
Mill on the Wensum
Three arched bridge
Demonstration Test Catchments Logo