Region: Somerset | Partner: Somerset Country Council, RSPB and FWAG SW

Several projects are carried out, including advisory work, measure implementation, and education efforts. The primary DROP-partner is Somerset County Council. The projects are carried out by subpartners RSPB and FWAG SW.

Project RSPB

Location

Somerset Levels (region), UK

Project scale

100km2, 60,000 inhabitants

Project owner

RSPB

In collaboration with

Somerset County Council, nature organizations (esp Somerset Wildlife Trust), farmers, (private) land owners.

Description

1. Land management advisory work connected with drought-proofing vulnerable areas, and capital investment in infrastructure to drought-proof key vulnerable areas on the peat moors and on the clay levels so they can better cope with drought conditions.

Tasks include:
•·         Site surveys and investigations;
•·         Investigate future options and consult with landowners and farmers and provide community involvement in the selection of preferred options;
•·         Prepare plan for managing water at larger scales using local topography to achieve a range of wetland conditions;
•·         Communicate plan and innovative approaches to water management for these areas;
•·         Develop and install local, low-cost water management control structures;
•·         Install remote water level monitoring equipment;
•·         Monitor and analyse data gathered. Prepare post project appraisal and lessons learned report.

2. Work to improve the drought resilience of habitats, soils and the wider wetland landscape. Work with the peat extraction industry, the planning authority and statutory bodies to develop an innovative peat extraction restoration scheme on private land, which aims to provide multiple benefits in terms of drought resilience, water quality and biodiversity.

3. Outreach and education with FE students and the general public to raise awareness of the risks posed to the wetland landscape by drought and how we might adapt to increased incidence and severity of drought. Engagement with a further education institution to produce interpretation materials based on the report Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts of Climate Change in the BrueValley (produced in WAVE project)

Contact

Somerset County Council, Steve Dury
sdury@somerset.gov.uk

Project FWAG SW

Location

Somerset Levels (region), UK

Project scale

100km2, 60,000 inhabitants

Project owner

FWAG SW

In collaboration with

Somerset County Council, nature organizations, farmers, (private) land owners.

Description

FWAG SW will:

1. Develop modelling and technology transfer in the Upper Parrett catchment on irrigation scheduling and water application management. This will result in more effective and efficent use of water (and associated energy requirement for application via irrigation).  The Upper Parrett is chosen as a project area because water demands for agriculture here are high for potato production. The overall aim is to reduce water demand from irrigation in the Upper Parrett.

2. Implement water efficiency measures and water conservation techniques in land-based businesses. This will include a benchmarking exercise against other water efficient businesses and looking at investment into water-efficiency techniques.

3. Establish links between research and land-based businesses to look at improving the organic matter content of soils. Building soil organic matter is crucial to drought-proofing soils in Somerset. This will lead to healthier soils and more sustainable rotations leading to reduced run-off, improved water quality and more drought resistant soils.

4. Commission the Somerset Drainage Boards Consortium to produce a Water Level Management Plan for the East and West Wastes area to improve the governance of water management and increase resilience to droughts.  The plan will set out the future requirements for water management that will be needed to meet challenges of climate change and consider existing and future pressures from development and agriculture.  It will involve landowners, farmers and local people who have an important role to play in the governance of water management.  The plan will investigate and implement changes in water management needed to improve drought resilience for the East and West Wastes area

Contact

Somerset County Council, Steve Dury
sdury@somerset.gov.uk