The Southern Streams Farmer Group held its first working meeting and discussed erosion and sediment
The first working meeting of the Southern Streams Farmer Group took place on Tuesday 19th March. The group's first stop was at Wexcombe Farm, where they saw two steep tracks that were causing problems in terms of
sediment. Standard interventions, guiding the water off the track with gullies, cross-drains and sleeping policemen, in some cases are not possible and more inventive solutions are required. In some cases, the solution might be as radical as re-siting the track and choosing a new location where the inherent risk of run-off is much reduced.
But with many of the historic trackways in the NWD, with their steep sides and high banks, this solution is not possible. In these cases, getting water off the track is still the answer, but it will be a much more involved and expensive operation.
From there the group headed to Manor Farm, Wilton, where Peter and David Lemon have dug several ponds in a bid to lessen the amount of sediment and nutrients that enter Wilton Water. Offline ponds fill up in times of high flow and drop their sediment load, which can then be cleaned out. The Wilton stream drains a substantial area of farmland, including some greensand soils and more interventions are planned to further lessen the sediment burden on Wilton Water.
The event was the first in a planned series to be held for the members of the Southern Streams Farmer Group, which, with support from the North Wessex Downs AONB, is now very much up and running.