ARCHIVE: The 50 Priority Catchments
The England Catchment Sensitive Farming Initiative was rolled out across 40 priority catchments in England in 2006. In October 2008, 10 new catchments were added, along with 7 extensions to existing catchments. The precise boundaries of the existing catchments can be found using the MAGIC website below.
These catchments were identified jointly by the Environment Agency and English Nature, and now cover about 40% of the agricultural area of England (with about 85,000 land managers). They were identified from data gathered for Water Framework Directive (WFD) purposes on nitrates, phosphorus and sediment pollution, combined with data on sensitive freshwater fisheries, chalk streams, failing bathing waters, groundwaters and SAC-designated lakes. English Nature prioritisation of designated sites at risk of diffuse water pollution from agriculture (DWPA) was also taken into account.
- Map - 50 priority catchments (January 2009) (PDF 200 KB)
- Precise boundaries of the 50 priority catchments (MAGIC website)
- List of the catchment priorities (updated June 2007) (PDF 368 KB)
- Details of how the catchments were identified on the Environment Agency website.
Each of the 50 priority catchments has a Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer (CSFO), who will perform catchment appraisals to determine areas most at risk of DWPA, and where to target their advice in the catchment. Each catchment will also have a Catchment Steering Group (CSG) who will steer the advice delivery in the catchment. Nine Regional Coordinators will enhance delivery and link the Initiative with River Basin Management Planning for the Water Framework Directive, and with other regional initiatives.
Delivery of advice - one of the key elements of the ECSFDI is the delivery of advice to farmers. Whilst this is the role of the CSFOs, it was envisaged at times they would need support from specialist providers. The ECSFDI is also funding advice in support of the Nitrates Action Programme.
Events - as part of the ECSFDI, activities such as workshops, seminars and farm demonstrations will be taking place in each of the 50 priority catchments.
Further advice is also being provided in some catchments through:
Page last modified: 22 January 2010
Page published 27 June 2002