The Demonstration Test Catchments (DTC) project is a joint Defra, Environment Agency (EA) and Welsh Assembly Government initiative working in three river catchments – the Wensum in Norfolk plus the Eden (Cumbria) and Avon (Hampshire).

The overall objective of the project is to provide evidence to test the hypothesis that it is possible to cost effectively reduce the impact of agricultural diffuse water pollution on ecological function while maintaining food security through the implementation of multiple on-farm measures across whole river catchments using local expertise to solve local problems. [READ MORE]


What's in the news?

  • May 2018: Wild About the Wensum We have been showcasing the DTC work at the ‘Wild about the Wensum’ event at Pensthorpe Natural Park for several years now, introducing to the visiting children and their parents the catchment-based approach and our work with farmers on mitigating diffuse pollution from agriculture. It's a well attended event enjoyed by all those helping on the stand. The last couple of events featured the work on cover crops but this year’s stand introduced the issue of sedimentation and presented first year results from the sediment traps that have been installed on the Salle Estate. Sediment related activities interested the children and parents were equally engaged and astounded that one trap was able to capture over 7 tonnes of sediment in one year! For more information about the research results [click here].
UEA stand at Pensthorpe Wild About the Wensum event

  • April 2018: Broadland Catch Up For the latest newsletter from the Broadland Catchment Partnership [click here].
  • 15 November 2017: Workshop - Farming Methods and Machinery - Salle Village Hall: Broadland Catchment Partnership hosted an event which attracted 46 attendees from Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire including 20 farmers (over 7000 ha) along with agronomists, other farm advisers and academics. Presentations from local farmers, agricultural engineers, and academics focussed on traditional and novel cost-effective techniques for improving soil and water and drew on evidence from the Wensum Demonstration Test Catchment, UEA, Harper Adams University, Cranfield University and ADAS trials related to cultivations and cover crops. Lland-Ho’s Earthwake for tramline disruption was on display and attendees were able to walk to a nearby oil seed rape field to discuss soil structure and were taken by tractor and trailer to a field of cover crops to discuss their establishment and destruction. Tramline layout and direction of sprayer travel around the field was also discussed as a simple cost-effective way to improve water resource protection. The event was reported in the EDP and a summary report is also available [click here].
  • 28-29 Jun 2017: Royal Norfolk Show Located off the main avenue through the showground ensured a large flow of visitors to our stand in the Innovation Hub marquee. The cover crops were in full growth and these and the ever popular catchment model (later making a debut appearance on BBC Look East) plus lots of fun looking chemistry made for a colourful display attracting lots of interest from show-goers, school groups and VIP guests including Michael Gove, Sectretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (pictured talking with Steve). The DTC team were kept fully occupied over the two days, answering questions about the uses of cover crops, the monitoring work and findings so far.
UEA stand at Pensthorpe Wild About the Wensum event

To read more about what's been happening see our News page.

View Wensum DTC Google Earth project
Wensum Google Earth project
Explore the Wensum catchment from the comfort of your own computer using this 'Google Earth' project developed by GIS expert Gilla Sunnenberg. [Click here] to view the project.
Out and about
Mill on the Wensum
Three arched bridge
Demonstration Test Catchments Logo