Fund aims to help Don and Derwent landowners reduce pollution
Tyne Rivers Trust has launched a new project to help farmers and landowners south of the River Tyne to increase efficiency and reduce pollution from agriculture entering the river system.
The Don to Derwent facilitation fund, which is funded by DEFRA (Department for Food & rural Affairs) and run by Tyne Rivers Trust, aims to support farmers and small-scale landowners on the urban fringe of Sunderland, Gateshead and Durham to reduce pollution and flooding and improve water quality.
By becoming a member of the fund, farmers receive a 20% uplift in points when applying for a Countryside Stewardship scheme as well as access to regular workshops.
Danielle Anderson-Walker, Farms liaison Officer at Tyne Rivers Trust says: “The project presents a fantastic opportunity for farmers to learn about environmentally friendly ways to increase their efficiency and reduce diffuse pollution.
One land-owner that has already signed up to the project is Washington Riding School which has worked with the Trust in the past to moved its muck heap away from the nearby burn and install brash bundles to reduce bank erosion and sediment running into the river.
Eileen Curley from Washington Riding School says: “Having worked with the Trust in the past, we were keen to be a part of the facilitation fund as we’ve seen what a massive difference some small changes can make to water and land quality.
“Holding back sediment from the River Don with brash bundles hasn’t just benefitted the environment, it’s also benefitted the Riding School, by stopping any further land loss.”
The fund already has workshops scheduled on topics including soil health, natural flood management, reducing urban pressures such as crime and trespassing and water quality.