Catchment Sensitive Farming Evaluation Report – Water Quality Phases 1 to 4 (2006-2018) (NE731)

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This Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) Evaluation Report covers phases 1 to 4 from 2006 to 2018 and highlights the positive impact of CSF advice to farmers on water quality across England as well as identifying areas for improvement.

Evaluation is key to the CSF partnership in assessing water quality outcomes and helping us shape advice delivery for the future.

Pollution from agriculture is a complex issue. To reflect this our approach uses data from a range of sources to develop the overall evidence, including:

  • farmer engagement
  • farmer awareness and attitude
  • farmer uptake of measures to control pollution
  • pollutant losses, water quality and ecology

Headline statistics from the report

  • 19,776 farm holdings have received CSF advice
  • 34% of total farmed area in England managed by CSF-engaged farmers
  • 53% of farm holdings engaged on three or more occasions
  • 128,691 farm-specific mitigation measures advised
  • 59.6% of advised farm-specific measures implemented
  • 87% of implemented measures assessed to be ‘mostly effective’
  • £84M of grant-funded improvements match-funded by farmers (2007-14)
  • 4-12% reduction in agricultural pollutant losses (average across Phase 1 Target Areas)
  • 4-8 times higher reductions in agricultural pollutant losses from within agri-environment scheme farms also implementing CSF measures
  • 1-6% modelled water quality improvement (averaged across water bodies associated with Phase 1 CSF Target Areas or, for FIOs, all areas targeted consistently since Phase 1)
  • 34% reduction in monitored pesticide concentrations exceeding 0.1μg/l (across monitored CSF catchments)
  • 5-22% reduction in monitored nutrient, sediment and FIO concentrations (averages of four responsive pollutants across water bodies associated with Phase 1 CSF Target Areas or all areas targeted consistently since Phase 1, for FIOs)

Downloads available for this record

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NE731 edition 1 Catchment Sensitive Farming Evaluation Report Water Quality Phases 1 to 4 (2006 2018), PDF, 3.3 MB 2019/10/09