Radio 4’s Farming Today programme has been looking at the pros and cons of Agri-Environment Schemes.
As part of this feature, Chris Short was interviewed, together with Jenny Phelps of FWAG SW, about the Upper Thames Catchment Partnership and the collaborative work that has been developing there. They were interviewed at Guiting Manor Farms, in Guiting Power, who have put in grass margins against main rivers within the catchment area as well as a great deal more agri-environmental work, thanks to the Facilitation Fund funded through Countryside Stewardship. One of the project’s farmer guardians, Nick Bumford, from Guiting Manor Farms, was also interviewed on the programme.
In summary, the Catchment Based Approach through the pilot phase of the Upper Thames Catchment project has used new management techniques which take into consideration the whole of river catchments. A key part of the this catchment is the emphasis on an integrated local delivery framework to engage with stakeholders in order to develop an inclusive and integrated catchment plan. The Integrated Local Delivery framework brings together different strategic objectives and links them to the local knowledge and resources of the local communities and land managers.
The Upper Thames Catchment as well as the WILD project fall within the catchment and are enhancing the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) delivery through the integration of a number of different objectives that are shared across the members of the partnership. The partnership activity includes: individual parish plans for ditches and water courses, integrated development of Surface Water plans, delivery of Catchment Sensitive farming, programmes developed by NGOs such as the Wildlife Trust and Cotswold Rivers Trust.
Chris and Jenny’s interview was broadcast as a half hour programme on Saturday 10th March as ‘Farming Today this Week’, and included some of the reports that Farming Today has been broadcasting throughout this week. You can listen again to the show on the Farming Today webpage, with Chris and Jenny featuring at 12:17 & 20:08.