Unchecked livestock access to watercourses can give rise to issues in terms of herd health and biosecurity, plus loss of land through erosion and significant poaching leading to a breach of regulations and financial penalties.
Although piped mains or borehole water is the first choice as drinking water for livestock, there are some grazing areas too remote from the steading where piping water isn’t an option.
Funded by the Scottish Government, and with support from SEPA, SAC Consulting worked with three farmers to install and trial a range of different alternative watering systems to provide drinking water for livestock at remote sites.
Alternative watering, what are the options?
Meeting looking at alternative watering systems and raising awarness of the Ythan priority catchment
Cogarth Alternative Watering Meeting
Alternative watering meeting in Dumfries looking at the capabilities of the papa pump and solar pumps
Alternative Watering Podcast: episode 1 - Papa pump
Agricultural consultant Donald Dunbar visits Paul Adams, who farms at Monashee Farm in the Scottish Borders. About four years ago Paul installed a Papa pump as part of an alternative watering project for his livestock. Hear directly from Paul about the installation process and how the Papa pump has performed in his system.
Alternative Watering Podcast: episode 3 -
In this final episode of our Alternative Watering series, we hear from agricultural consultant Donald Dunbar and farmer John Anderson. John explains that cattle had previously been drinking from water from springs and ditches and burns. This caused poaching and health problems e.g. fluke and lungworm. Having limited alternative watering options available for the farm animals, John decided to install a traditional RAM pump. The pump is lifting the water up 105 m and pumping it a distance of over a kilometre.
Alternative Watering Podcast: episode 2 - Solar and pasture pumps
John Prentice a livestock farmer in the Scottish Border's chats to agricultural consultant Donald Dunbar about his alternative watering systems. John installed both a solar-powered pump and a cluster of pasture pumps a number of years ago. Farming in a diffuse pollution priority catchment, John wanted to ensure that he was able to provide livestock drinking facilities beyond the minimum 5m from a watercourse to prevent livestock poaching. He's found both systems beneficial and has a few hints and tips for others who might be installing similar systems.