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Upland agriculture – balancing productivity, water and soil quality - WQ0121

The influence of grassed upland areas on water quality has received limited attention. This project will bring together available literature and expert knowledge on losses of sediment, nutrients, agrochemicals, carbon and microbiological contaminants. We will provide a succinct statement outlining our current state of knowledge in this area and highlighting those areas which will need further research attention.

Specifically the project will address the following questions:
• In the widest sense - how do upland grasslands contribute to water quality?
• What are the relative contributions of topography, soil type, location, and climate, to water quality in upland grasslands?
• What role do land management, different farming systems and livestock breeds play in water quality?
• Can we classify areas of upland grassland in relation to water quality? What are the predominant determining factors (e.g. soil type/management)?
• What are the key pollution issues, and how do they affect our obligations with relation to the Water Framework Directive?
• Building on the work of the ACE Observatory, how will water quality in the uplands be affected by changes in the CAP strategy?
• What land management options would provide net environmental benefits, but are not available on the Environmental Stewardship menu of options?

The project will be delivered by a team of researchers from the Lancaster Environment Centre, CEH-Lancaster and CEH-Bangor all with experience of diffuse pollution, upland environments and excellent connections with land and water management projects throughout Wales and NW England.
This project will provide answers to some of the more important questions in relation to the impacts of upland environments on water quality.
Project Documents
• Final Report : WQ0121 - Final Report   (321k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2008

Cost: £15,107
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Lancaster
Agricultural Land              
Agriculture and Water Quality              
Sustainable Farming and Food Science              
Water Quality              
Water Quality and Use              
Fields of Study
Water Quality