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?

  • 11 December 2018: NFU Farmed Environment Conference The NFU’s first Farmed Environment Conference was opened by NFU President Minette Batters, and addressed by George Eustice MP, Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The meeting include several case studies by farmers, including one from Poul Hoveson concerning arable farming in East Anglia with discussion focussing on managing the environment alongside producing the nation’s food. A new publication on this theme was launched at the event. To download it and read about Poul’s experiences [ Click here ].
  • 28 June 2018: Salle Farms win British Beet Research Organisation's first Beet Yield Challenge The hot weather brought around 80,000 visitors to the Royal Norfolk Show this year. The event included the announcement of Salle Farms as the winner of the BBRO's Beet Yield Challenge after producing an astounding sugar beet yield of 121 tonnes per hectare - 95% of the theoretical yield potential. Success was put down to good soil health, using cover crops and livestock manure, and having a good rotation. To read the full story on the EDP's website [ Click here ].
  • May 2018: The Prince's Countryside Parade Prince Charles is Patron of the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA, and an invitation was extended to attend the Royal Cornwall Show which hosted a special celebration of the Prince's contribution to the countryside, environment and rural communities in the UK. Around 80 of His Royal Highness's patronages came together in a parade to highlighting their work and achievements to date. Kevin and Andrew attended to represent the contribution of the School of Environmental Sciences to countryside research, of which the DTC project is a prime example. For more information on the Prince's Countryside Fund [ Click here ].
Photos from the Prince's Countryside Parade 2018

  • May 2018: Wild About the Wensum We have been showcasing the DTC work at the ‘Wild about the Wensum’ event at Pensthorpe Natural Park for several years now, introducing to the visiting children and their parents the catchment-based approach and our work with farmers on mitigating diffuse pollution from agriculture. It's a well attended event enjoyed by all those helping on the stand. The last couple of events featured the work on cover crops but this year’s stand introduced the issue of sedimentation and presented first year results from the sediment traps that have been installed on the Salle Estate. Sediment related activities interested the children and parents were equally engaged and astounded that one trap was able to capture over 7 tonnes of sediment in one year! For more information about the research results [click here].
UEA stand at Pensthorpe Wild About the Wensum event

  • April 2018: Broadland Catch Up For the latest newsletter from the Broadland Catchment Partnership [click here].

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