Land use and soil impacts on rivers

Land management within the catchment, and in particular, soil management, have a huge influence on the health of our rivers.

Two recent papers talk about this issue.

The first is an academic paper that looks at soil degradation in the West Country and which crops have the greatest impact, resulting in high levels of runoff (causing spatey’ rivers) and also soil erosion, localised flooding and poor recharge to aquifers. The paper is called Soil structural degradation in SW England and its impact on surface-water runoff generation’.
Click here for a copy of the paper.

The other paper is published by DEFRA and is a summary report on the findings from the Demonstration Test Catchments on the rivers Eden, Wensum, Tamar and Hampshire Avon. This programme was established in 2009 to develop, test and demonstrate suites of measures at landscape scale that are practical within commercial farming systems. It covers sediment and pollution issues and also the attitudes of farmers to changing their practices. Click here for the report.

For a brief introduction on the impact of land use on rivers, click here