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Reducing diffuse pollution risk doesn’t just benefit water quality and the environment; it can also help to improve farm business efficiency, profitability and can lower your farm carbon footprint.

It also keeps you on the right side of the regulations, protecting farm payments.

3 key ways to tackle diffuse pollution:

  • Reduce the source of the pollution – where is it coming from? Can the pollution source be minimised?
  • Block the pathway – assess how the pollution source is getting from the source to the problem site
  • Prevent it getting to areas where it will become a problem – divert or collect the pollution before it reaches the watercourse (the ‘receptor’)

This is also known as the “source-pathway-receptor” approach.  Blocking one of these pathways could prevent diffuse pollution from your land.

Tramline management is one way that you can break the ‘pathway’.  This presentation shows the benefits of better management around wheelings and tramlines, not only for erosion and soil loss, but also for soil quality, and provides some ideas around tramline management.

Here, soil scientist Dr Joanna Cloy introduces some of the small changes that can reduce soil and nutrient loss from farm fields, featuring Farms and Estate Manager Bill Gray, explaining some of the practical measures they have put in place at Preston Hall Farms, Pathhead in Midlothian.

Sam Parsons, Estate Manager at Balcaskie explains some of the steps he is taking to benefit both livestock production and support farm soils via his approach to mob grazing.  Listen to the podcast hosted by SRUCs Dr Joanna Cloy here.

Where to start?

The team behind the Valuing your Soils brochure have also produced a handy guide with suggestions of how to reduce commThe front cover of the General diffuse pollution prevention solutions booklet produced by CREWon diffuse pollution risks.  You can download it here

Although there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, the team have also put together a guide to indicate how much some of these measures cost and how easy they are to put into practice download it from here

You can download the full Valuing Your Soils Brochure here, or see all the Crew resources to help land managers protect and improve farm soils, including what other farmers have done, on our Valuing Your Soils webpage.