Farmers urged to help halt pollution

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FARMERS in the Yorkshire Dales are being urged to help combat pollution as a two-year project is launched to prevent slurry and chemical leaks in rivers and streams.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has unveiled the new scheme which aims to prevent manure, slurry and chemical fertilisers seeping into watercourses.

It will cover an area encompassing the Upper Lune catchment area stretching from near Settle up to the north-western fringes of the national park.

The project will also include the Semer Water catchment near Hawes and Askrigg.

Farmers are being encouraged to protect riverbanks by fencing them off from livestock, planting networks of woodlands and restoring moorland.

They are also being urged to improve the ways they use manure, slurry and fertilisers to reduce leakages into waterways.

Representatives from the park authority, Natural England and the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust will meet with farmers over the next six months to ensure they are aware of available grants.

The park authority’s member champion for conservation of the natural environment, Andrew Colley, said: “It is vital that farmers are given all the help and resources available so they can care for the waterways effectively and so help to protect this very special area.

“We hope they will all take the opportunity over the next two years to come on board and join the partnership – it is in everyone’s interests.”

The £100,000 project is being funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Natural England.

Two similar schemes which came to an end last year looked to reduce pollution in the Semer Water and Upper Lune catchments.

The two areas have now been combined for the new Semer Water and Upper Lune Catchment Sensitive Farming Partnership.