News Archive: July - December 2011

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  • DECEMBER 2011: NATIONAL DTC WEBSITE LAUNCHED!The new national DTC website will provide a key focal point to allow knowledge to be exchanged among all those who have an interest in diffuse pollution management, providing a space for sharing evidence and learning within the national DTC community itself, in addition to encouraging wider international sharing of best practice. The website is being managed by a team from the universities of Newcastle and Lancaster who are running the Knowledge Exchange component of the DTC programme.
  • DECEMBER 2011: RIVER WENSUM RESTORATION UPDATEWork is progressing downstream of Great Ryburgh Mills on the third major restoration scheme of the Environment Agency funded River Wensum Restoration Strategy. The newly constructed meander channel at Ryburgh End has filled with water for the first time. To read the full story and more from the latest newsletter [Click here].
  • 24 NOVEMBER 2011: MEETING FOR NFU MEMBERSNFU members farming in the Wensum catchment were invited to a meeting, held at the Salle Parish Hall, where they heard about the Wensum DTC research, the Catchment Sensitive Farming programme and the latest results from a project investigating sources of sediment pollution and siltation and discussed measures that could be taken to reduce diffuse pollution from agriculture. Attendees visited the monitoring stations for a demonstration of the monitoring equipment and were invited to take part in the project by borrowing hand held probes that will allow them to measure nitrate concentrations in ditches and streams on their own land. The meeting was eloquently chaired by Poul Hoveson from the Salle Farm Estate. A short questionnaire was circulated to find out more about farming enterprises in the catchment and potential future threats and how farmers are planning to respond to them. The questionnaire also asked about longer term business objectives and sought views on potential sources of sediment or chemical pollutants in water and plans for introducing any new farming methods that could have a beneficial impact on water quality. For a summary of the questionnaire findings [Click here].
  • 09 SEP 2011: WENSUM DTC STUDENT RESEARCH DAY Nine UEA student research projects have taken place in the Wensum DTC this year and three PhD students have started their studies. Students and UEA staff from the Wensum Alliance came together on the 9th of September for a productive day of presentations and discussions about the work. The students have been researching specific aspects of the catchment (topography, rainfall, sediments, nutrients, bacteria and management) in great detail. The research day provided the opportunity to make useful conntections between the different strands of research which increases the overall understanding of processes at work in the Wensum catchment. There are plans to make this an annual event. For more information about the student projects [Click here].
  • AUG 2011: RIVER WENSUM RESTORATION NEWS Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Water Management Alliance, have developed a strategy for restoring the natural physical characteristics of the Wensum so that it can better sustain the wildlife and fisheries associated with a Norfolk chalk river. Currently parts of the river are too wide, too deep, too straightened and impounded by mill structures. The river is also disconnected from its floodplain by spoil banks left over from historical dredging for land drainage and industrial activities. The project involves landowners, fishing clubs and other interested groups in carrying out a series of river restoration projects. Members of the project team are contributing to the Wensum DTC project via the Wensum Alliance. For a copy of their August 2011 Newsletter [Click here].
  • 13 JUL 2011: DEFRA / Environment Agency Visit Senior DEFRA and Environment Agency staff attended a meeting in the Wensum DTC to learn about the research activities ongoing in the three test catchments (Eden, Hampshire Avon and Wensum).  The aim was to raise the profile of DTCs as outdoor laboratories providing an evidence base in support of government policy.  The day explored the rationale for the DTC programme as a long-term research platform supporting the UK catchment and agricultural science base and new collaborative ways of conducting catchment research through establishing ‘communities of practice’ such as our Wensum Alliance of interested organisations and individuals.  Delegates were given a tour of the study area and were shown the new monitoring stations featuring web-based sensor control technology for monitoring water quality and discussed measures for tackling diffuse pollution.  There was lot of interested conversation about developing knowledge exchange activities for disseminating results to multiple stakeholders to improve targeting and uptake of agri-environmental policy, and despite a busy schedule and thanks to a knowledgeable and proficient coach driver, everyone was returned to Norwich station in time for the train.
Notable events
 
Visitors in Discussion
Visitors from DEFRA and the Environment Agency walk and talk about monitoring and measures in the Wensum catchment
Visitors in Discussion
Faye demonstrating equipment in the high-spec monitoring station to visitors from DEFRA and the Environment Agency
Visitors in Discussion
Andrew in discussion ...
Visitors in Discussion
... and Kevin demonstrating a tipping rain gauge