Nature Based Solutions
Mitigating the agricultural pollution of rivers does not require huge capital outlay. There exist cost-effective nature-based process which can impede and even filter nutrient-rich run offs from farms.
The UK’s Rivers Trust movement is one of the leading advocates of such solutions – and each river catchment area of the country has a local Rivers Trust dedicated to working in partnership with polluters to implement the necessary remedies.
Ingoldisthorpe Wetland Creation – Nature’s Own Water Treatment
An excellent example of this is the work carried out in Norfolk with Anglian Water:
The Norfolk Rivers Trust has created a wetland to improve water quality in the River Ingol, one of Norfolk’s precious chalk streams.
The constructed wetland provides a natural, low-cost and sustainable water treatment method to filter discharged into the River Ingol from the local Anglian Water sewage treatment plan – avoiding the installation of costly and carbon-intensive nutrient stripping techniques.
Prior to the wetland’s creation, the treated outflow still contained excessive nutrients that entered the River Ingol. The one-hectare wetland, created on land next to the treatment works, now receives the newly directed outflow.
The project has been funded by Anglian Water and was created in partnership by the Norfolk Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency. Read more here: https://norfolkriverstrust.org/ingoldisthorpe-wetland-creation-natures-own-water-treatment/
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River Buffer Schemes: a Proven Method of Natural River Restoration
Another effective proven nature-based solution for mitigating the impact of agricultural run offs is for rivers to be protected by 20 meter deep buffers – at which agriculture ends and natural vegetation begins.
The Beaver Trust submitted to the Government recently a detailed proposal as to how a river buffer scheme could be implemented.
Download the document here