Promar has worked on a programme of catchment engagement initiatives with Thames Water focused on the use of crop protection products (particularly metaldehyde) across their region for surface water abstraction catchments, and nitrates for groundwater abstraction catchments.
Over the delivery period, this has included managing the delivery of farm advice visits, equipment testing and calibration services, farmer meetings and catchment assessments across over 30 key surface or ground water catchment areas, with delivery level varying based on Thames Water’s requirement. As part of this project portfolio, Promar has also worked collaboratively with five other organisations, including Catchment Sensitive Farming, to administer product substitution and payment for ecosystem services (PES) initiatives in 25 designated key catchment areas.
In 2018, project delivery covered five surface water catchments and three groundwater catchments. Delivery in the groundwater catchments involved an initial catchment assessment, including farm engagement visits to establish key contacts and land management practices in use on each farm. The purpose of this was to determine a potential route for further engagement to protect groundwater sources against high levels of nitrate. The surface water catchments required delivery of 24 calibration visits for slug pelleting equipment, and 74 days of farm support visits to cover a range of topics including farm infrastructure, business planning and succession, stewardship opportunities and soil management.