Tyne RT have now completed 5 diffuse pollution projects (funded by EA) for equestrian businesses, all of which had muck heaps situated in close proximity to a watercourse. Currently the Farming Rules for Water exempt equestrian businesses. We also run 3 Farming Facilitation Fund projects educating farmers that it is their responsibility not to pollute the water course and that they are required to ensure that they comply. Discussions with both sectors have raised this anomaly.
We have recently run some Farming Rules for Water workshops which have been well received but are still reaching more land advisers and students than farmers and equestrian business owners. In the urban end of our catchment in particular we will struggle to improve water quality when legislation does not cover all sources of pollution.
Tyne RT wrote to the Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity on the matter and received a response indicating that they were aware that the regulations may need to be reviewed. This review has been launched and will be concluded by April 2021.
Is The Rivers Trust planning to respond to the review. Evidence of need can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Are there similar challenges in other catchments / Farming Facilitation Funds? How are other RTs addressing the issue?