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WET SUMMER SPURS LOCAL FARMERS MEETING

Forty farmers attended an evening meeting on 19th October in Waddington to discuss farming in wet weather conditions after Lancashire experienced its 11th wettest summer since records began.

The farmers meeting was organised by the Ribble Rivers Trust in partnership with Natural England’s Catchment Sensitive Farming Programme.

The wet conditions over summer have created many problems for farmers in the Ribble Catchment.  Saturated land has made accessing fields very difficult and many livestock farmers have extra manure and slurry to deal with, whilst trying to avoid negative environmental impacts.

Speakers at the farmers meeting included Sarah Bolton, Agricultural Project Officer for the Ribble Rivers Trust, Neville Pearson, former ADAS soil and water consultant, Michael Graham, Natural England’s Catchment Sensitive Farming coordinator and Louise Kite from Lancashire County Council.

Topics of discussion included ways to reduce diffuse pollution in watercourses, improvement of soil structure and how to access grants to help fund the improvement works.

Sarah Bolton from the Ribble Rivers Trust said, “We really wanted to stress to farmers the importance of observing good practice when spreading slurry and to seek advice if they have any concerns.  The Environment Agency offers practical guidance to farmers to help them avoid the risk of water pollution, the phone number to ring is 03708 506 506.”

Neville Pearson added, “Soil structure plays a big part in how water drains from the land and it should be regularly assessed for compaction.  If poor soil structure is identified, Defra’s Rural Services Helpline provides professional guidance on how to rectify the issues.  Their number is 03000 200 301.”

Farmers were advised to contact Michael Graham from Natural England on 07770 700 830 about opportunities for one-to-one training and advice about nutrient and manure management planning, soil husbandry and water management. 

The Ribble Rivers Trust is also offering free confidential farm audits to identify opportunities that could reduce pollution and help farmers make cost savings as the same time.  Anyone interested in a visit can contact Sarah Bolton on 01200 444452.

Waterlogged field

The Ribble Rivers Trust (RRT) is a local environmental charity established in 1997 to protect and restore the rivers, streams and watercourses within the Ribble catchment and to raise public awareness of the value of our local rivers and streams. The Ribble catchment is the area of land that is drained by the River Ribble and its major tributaries; the Hodder, Calder and Darwen. It covers a varied landscape, from the rural hills of the Yorkshire Dales and the source of the River Ribble, to major urban areas of Lancashire including Blackburn, Burnley and Preston. For more information visit www.ribbletrust.org.uk

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance- please read

Forty farmers attended an evening meeting on 19th October in Waddington to discuss farming in wet weather conditions after Lancashire experienced its 11th wettest summer since records began.

Please note that, following Government guidelines and the fact UK Chief Medical Officers have now raised the Coronavirus (COVID-19) risk to the UK from moderate to high, Ribble Rivers Trust are taking precautions, and making changes to our day to day operations.

Some Ribble Rivers Trust staff are now working from home. If you wish to speak to a specific member of staff and you know their mobile phone number or email address please contact them in this way. Otherwise please contact us in the usual way.

Volunteer event cancellations

Dear volunteers,

It is with regret that we announce that we are postponing all volunteer activity with Ribble Rivers Trust. We know there are many benefits to volunteering, including the positive boost to mental and physical health, the chance to meet others and contribute positively to your local area. However, given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the most recent Government advice – asking everybody in the UK to stay at home and only go out for essentials such as food and medicine – we feel that continuing to include volunteers in the limited work we are able to do now would put people at unnecessary risk and be irresponsible. We all want to improve and protect our environment and rivers, but to do that we need to stay healthy and this must be our priority for the time being. We will continue to keep you up to date with the work we are able to do and will organise new volunteer days as soon as we possibly can. Please stay connected with us over the coming weeks and keep yourselves safe and well.

Refer to gov.uk/coronavirus for up to date information and guidance.

We will come through this and our environment and rivers will still need you, let’s make sure we’re all ready for it when the time comes.

Yours faithfully,

Jack Spees.

The Ribble Rivers Trust (RRT) is a local environmental charity established in 1997 to protect and restore the rivers, streams and watercourses within the Ribble catchment and to raise public awareness of the value of our local rivers and streams. The Ribble catchment is the area of land that is drained by the River Ribble and its major tributaries; the Hodder, Calder and Darwen. It covers a varied landscape, from the rural hills of the Yorkshire Dales and the source of the River Ribble, to major urban areas of Lancashire including Blackburn, Burnley and Preston. For more information visit www.ribbletrust.org.uk

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