Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART) are delighted to have been asked to lead this project on behalf of the Bristol Avon Catchment Group, with funding provided through the DEFRA Catchment Partnership Action Fund.
BART will work in partnership with the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG SW) and the farmers and landowners along the Ladden Brook and Bradley Brook which form the headwaters of the Bristol Frome to identify and take actions to contribute towards the reduction of levels of sediment and nutrients entering the river. The Bristol Frome is currently failing Water Framework Directive measures for phosphates and this project will form part of a number of wider initiatives on the river which will result in further projects in the coming years.
Both BART and FWAG are charities who have developed to help the agricultural community by providing trusted independent, environmental advice.
The project is designed to kick start farming involvement in tackling these issues by providing specialist advice to local farmers who are best placed to contribute to the solving these problems in this area. The project will find out what farmers think is required to solve these problems and will also help to raise awareness of best practices and share what has been achieved elsewhere.
The advice and improvements made on farms within the project area will not just help meet arbitrary targets; they will also deliver real ongoing benefits such as increased biodiversity and productivity, as well as improved health and well-being as a result of local community engagement within the project.