Water Friendly Farming

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Water Friendly Farming Hub

The Mersey Rivers Trust have developed an online hub for farmers or anyone who has an interest in farming and the environment. It has information on water friendly farming practices, sources of funding, case studies and useful links.

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Upper Weaver Farm Project

United Utilities, Mersey Rivers Trust and Severn Rivers Trust are working in partnership to help protect and improve water quality in the Upper Weaver catchments in Cheshire.  This project is working with farms in the Ash Brook, Checkley Brook, Valley Brook (source to Englesea Brook), Englesea Brook, Birchall Brook, Bickley Brook and Duckow catchments.  Below is a map showing the areas of interest, and clicking the names of the catchments above will also take you to a map of these areas.

We are working in these catchments because four out of six of of these waterbodies are classed as in poor ecological status (Water Framework Directive classification), with one brook having deteriorated since the last classification cycle in 2015.  We are working with industry, communities and now farmers to try and improve the quality of the water in these brook catchments. 

This project, funded by the Water Environment Grant, aims to provide farmers with free farm advice and a farm Water Management Plan, through visits and conversations.  The plan will give recommendations and advice on potential opportunities for new ways of managing surface water, runoff, slurry , livestock and other things, in the farm yard and fields.  There will also be the potential for grant funding to implement some of the recommendations outlined in the plan, of up to £3,900 per farm.  

The items eligible for funding, and the rates at which they can be funded are available to download from the key documents below.

If you would like to learn more about this opportunity to improve your farm business, and help the environment please contact us here.


Alt Crossens

The Mersey Rivers Trust has established a Water Friendly Farming group led by a sub-group of the Alt Crossens Catchment Partnership, including representatives from the Environment Agency, National Farmers Union (NFU) and Natural England’s Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) service. The group is focussing on engagement and communication of “water friendly farming” to the agricultural community in the Alt-Crossens catchment.

The aim is to enable better farm practice having less impact on watercourses, flooding and water availability. This is via engagement aimed at Alt-Crossens farmers, showcasing exemplar case studies and providing farmers with information on topics such as best practice sustainable farming, Catchment Sensitive Farming and grants available to farmers. The aim is improving farm management, sustainability and use of interventions to reduce nitrates and phosphates entering the watercourses as well as water storage and irrigation techniques. We are working with the farmers to help them find funding and implement interventions. Farmers are invited to a series of workshops and webinars specifically designed for this project, to demonstrate good practice and innovative techniques.

Rainwater harvesting tank


Workshop December 2021


Workshop March 2022


The Alt-Crossens is designated as a priority catchment for water resource. The land drainage is an issue and the catchment suffers from both flooding and drought at various times of the year, both of which are challenges to farmers. The project enables farmers to share key challenges and issues in preventing pollution and managing water resources, and see solutions in action. We provide a communications vehicle to raise awareness and encourage collaboration, with the aim of finding new solutions to improving water quality and water resource management in the catchment that command the broad support of the agricultural community and wider stakeholders. We explore options for preventing pollution of watercourses and for better sharing of water resources during drought conditions through discussion with various abstraction groups (agriculture, commercial/industrial, drainage management and public water supply), including by drawing on case studies from other places to see whether similar arrangements could work in the Alt Crossens catchment.



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