News Archive: January - June 2013

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  • JUNE 2013: New DTC Newsletter Read about the latest developments across all three catchments in the latest DTC Newsletter. [Click here].
  • May 18th 2013: Pensthorpe's Wild about the Wensum The pictures below show our busy stand at this family event at Pensthorpe Wildfowl Trust. Several members of the UEA team helped on the stand and Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer Steve Haley (pictured left) also came along with a badge-making machine that proved a big hit! Steve says “I was grateful for the chance to contribute to the Wensum Alliance stand and everyone had a great day. The badges were very popular and they worked well at bringing people to the stand, where they then had an opportunity to do some nitrate testing and get a water pollution message from the DTC team including useful information on the work of CSF in the area. Partnership working in practise!”
Wild about the Wensum event

  • 27 MARCH 2013: Monitoring data update Tobi has been working hard on analysing the monitoring data and monthly summaries for the monitoring stations right up to February 2013 can be found on the monitoring page.
  • MARCH 2013: New soil moisture probes installed Monitoring stream water and groundwater levels has now been complemented with the installation of soil moisture probes at several locations across the mini-catchments in the Wensum DTC. The soil moisture probes have sensors at 15 cm intervals to a depth of 90 cm and also record soil temperature at three levels. The data are transmitted by a GPRS telemetry system to a web portal providing near-real time data interrogation. The data are being used in conjunction with the weather stations, stream flow and borehole data to analyse changing hydrological conditions in response to rainfall events, as well as changing diurnal and seasonal temperature profiles. (See picture, above right).
  • FEBRUARY 2013: Catchment Sensitive Farming support for Salle FarmsIn 2012, Salle Farms Company Ltd was successful in receiving Catchment Sensitive Farming support through the Capital Grants scheme to part-fund the installation of a biobed for its pesticides wash-down facility at Manor Farm, Norfolk. As an example of a large biobed for an intensive arable farming operation, the Environment Agency and the Wensum DTC are collaborating to monitor the efficiency of the biobed in attenuating pesticides in runoff from the hard standing area. The biobed has been under construction over the winter and the drain field from the biobed installed. Within this drain field, 20 porous pots have been installed to sample effluent from the biobed and its filtration through the soil profile. The biobed is expected to be in operation later in 2013. (See picture, above right)
  • THURS 07 FEB 2013: Valuing groundwater – a hidden natural resource: East Anglian Regional Group of the Geological Society Lecture Kevin Hiscock explained the provenance of groundwater resources globally, and examined the importance of aquifers in providing drinking water supplies since the beginning of human civilisation, the significance of groundwater in meeting irrigation water demands in the most important agricultural areas of the world, and the role of groundwater in sustaining unique groundwater-dependent ecosystems. Kevin explained the risk of groundwater contamination and over-exploitation and the need for better governance of groundwater to protect this valuable resource for future generations.
  • FEBRUARY 2013: Broadland Catchment Partnership News [Click here] for latest news from the Broadland Catchment Partnership which is working with individuals, communities, organisations, companies and farmers to improve Broadland rivers. Details are given in the newsletter for you to join the partnership and to help to make the Broadland rivers an even more wonderful resource for wildlife and people.
  • FEBRUARY 2013: Latest News from the DTC Read about the latest work from the three Demonstration Test Catchments. [Click here].
  • JANUARY 2013: New monitoring kiosk installed This winter has seen further equipment installations in the Wensum DTC. During a very cold spell in January when early morning temperatures fell to as low as -17 degrees Celsius (!), a further mini-kiosk was installed in mini-catchment A at Salle. (Picture below). This mini-kiosk is upstream of the fields targeted for the field measures, including minimum cultivation techniques, starting in Autumn 2013 and will monitor runoff from adjacent arable fields that are under conventional cultivation practices. This mini-kiosk was also the first to include a GPRS telemetry system enabling researchers to remotely interrogate in-stream water parameters such as temperature, pH, electrical conductivity and dissolved oxygen in near-real time. Subsequently this spring, the remaining monitoring stations are being upgraded to GPRS telemetry systems.
Monitoring Kiosk M

  • JANUARY 2013: What you see is what you get..New data from the Blackwater catchment reveals how water quality issues not captured by weekly sampling can be revealed by high-resolution monitoring and aid our understanding of how nutrients move through the catchment under different weather conditions. Go to the monitoring section to read more.
  • THUS 24 JANUARY 2013: Presentation to the Norfolk Rivers IDBThe Norfolk Rivers Internal Drainage Board met at Hunter’s Hall near Swanton Morley on Thursday, 24 January and heard a presentation by Kevin Hiscock on progress with water quality monitoring in the Wensum DTC in the last two years, 2011 and 2012. Members of the Board were interested to discuss the implications of high nitrogen concentrations and future weather extremes on agricultural runoff to water courses.
  • MON 21 JANUARY 2013: National DTC Conference, London.Despite the snow and difficult travelling conditions for many, it was a full house at the National DTC Conference in London, where researchers from the three DTCs presented latest research findings. For a full account of the conference see Prof Phil Haygarth's Soil and Water blog. Speaker presentations are available from the National DTC website [Click here].
Notable events
Soil moisture probe installation
Soil moisture probe installation (located next to plastic cane marker) with adjacent solar-powered telemetry unit
Biobed drain field experiment
Biobed drain field with porous pot tubing hidden below upturned flower pots!