With a continuing wet winter, farmers and growers will need to do as much as they can to prevent soil erosion and pollution from entering streams and rivers. Buffer strips act by ‘slowing the flow’ of water to allow the sediment and associated nutrients to settle out before the water reaches the watercourse.
It is essential that channels are not dug through a buffer strip to release a build-up of runoff to a watercourse. This would be seen as a direct and deliberate act of pollution, and could lead to enforcement action taken by the Environment Agency; being reported to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA); and be in breach of cross-compliance
and contrary to any stewardship agreement.Right: Runoff from a harvested potato field