Thames Water Smarter Water Catchments group
The farmers are interested in how using no till and cover crops can benefit them in both reducing soil loss and phosphorus fertiliser inputs - having environmental, economical and efficiency improvements. They are also keen to understand how these practices affect yield and glyphosate use as well as pest and weed problems, such as slugs and blackgrass. Thames Water are particularly interested in how river sedimentation and phosphorus loading can be reduced.
The coordinator Jay Neale is a senior environmental scientist at Atkins. Sarah Olney from Natural England is supporting the group on agricultural advice, monitoring and assessment. One of the researchers, Tegan Darch, from Rothamsted is a soil and water scientist, specialising in phosphorus cycling. Charlotte Chivers also at Rothamsted is a social scientist exploring farmers’ attitudes to on-farm control measures for water quality.