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Landowners’ Get-together Friday 19th June 2015 Lower Lady Meadows Farm, Bradnop

A really successful Landowners’ Get-together was held at Lower Lady Meadows Farm, Bradnop, hosted by kind permission of owners Tracey & John. This was a joint venture by the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership (CVLLP) and included local MP Karen Bradley alongside partnership representatives from the Environment Agency, Natural England, Support Staffordshire and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s new Chief Executive, Julian Woolford.

The event showcased how farmers can make the most of their manures, leading to both cost reductions and improved water quality in local streams – in this case Combes Brook. It was also a chance to get to know neighbouring farmers and admire the beautiful livestock and recent improvements made on the farm.

A good turnout of local farmers was given a tour of the farm and shown how features such as buffer strips, water gates, targeted manure spreading and improved gate/pinch areas could help with water quality. The group enjoyed a bit of “pond dipping” in the Combes Brook and examined water samples for biological indicators such as stonefly, mayfly and caddis larvae and freshwater shrimp.

CVLLP representatives, including Support Staffordshire’s Land Based Advisor, Chris Higgins, explained how the project can offer farmers the opportunity for advice, soil sampling and access to grant support for  environmental improvements to their land leading to reduced run-off in the Combes and Leek Brook catchment areas. The Environment Agency also offered a chance for some informal support and advice for any farmers who wished to take this up. The Partnership is planning to hold more similar events and workshops for farmers – particularly in view of how well received and enjoyed this one was by all attendees. To get involved contact CVLLP.

Everyone returned to the farm yard and enjoyed a lovely buffet lunch.

Combes, Water gate