Farming, Woodlands & Water

Date: 19 April 2016, 11-14:00:00

Location: School of Agriculture, University of Reading

Purpose: Loddon Woodlands Demonstration Project to support farmers, food production and water management

BASIS accredited 3 CPD points

Background

Agriculture is an important part of the UK economy supporting national food security. Land used for food production can also deliver other benefits for people, like improved drinking water quality and flood protection, when managed in an appropriate way.

There has been a lot of talk recently about how targeted woodland planting could help improve water quality and reduce flood risk by reducing diffuse pollution and surface runoff. Despite growing interest, progress is hampered by a lack of case-study examples where measurements have been made to demonstrate the effectiveness of woodland measures in lowland areas of southeast England.  As we all know, the countryside is not the same across the UK, and what works in one area might not work in another because of differences in farming systems, soils, slopes and weather conditions.

Real data is needed to provide reliable evidence to help farmers make decisions about whether planting woodland could help them with on-farm water and nutrient management issues.  It would also help farmers build a business case to support the use of woodland measures to reduce operating costs and provide multiple benefits, including carbon sequestration and wood fuel.  We also intend to use this data to explore the potential for new business model(s) for alternative income generation for farmers to support delivery of others services provided by the land they manage, like water purification and flood control.

Programme

11:00 Tea & Coffee

11:15-12:30 Presentations

12:30-13:15 Farmer Discussions & Opportunities

13:15-14:00 Working lunch