Cornish farmers help protect Cornwall's watercourses
through Objective One
The Westcountry Rivers Trust, an independent charitable organisation,
established to protect and enhance the region's rivers
and streams, is delighted to announce the successful conclusion
of its 'Cornwall Rivers Project'. The Project
has run for four years, and was financed through Objective
One and Defra. Farmers and river managers in 15 of Cornwall's
largest river catchments were offered confidential advice
as well as grant aid, creating major benefits for the region's
rivers and helping to attract more anglers to Cornwall.
During the project, Trust advisers visited over 870 landholdings
in Cornwall, each one receiving an individually tailored free
'Integrated River Basin Resource Management Plan'
that identified opportunities to improve farming practice,
to protect the environment and to make economic savings. The
plans cover a total land area in excess of 560 km2 and grant
assistance was given for around 169 km of fencing. A variety
of other riparian projects such as bank revetments, stoning
degraded stock watering points and cleaning spawning gravels
also sought directly to improve environmental quality and
access to fisheries, leading to increased wider economic benefits
to the region.
Based on an independent economic survey, findings conclude
that the average annual saving per farm was calculated to
be in excess of £1369. Calculations from recommendations
of reduced soil loss indicate an annual saving of 9,698 tonnes
across Cornwall which equates to £145,260 per year (at
£15/t) and immeasurable environmental benefits. Improved
fertiliser savings, water conservation advice and other environmental
protection measures has contributed to more cash saved in
the farmers' back pockets.
Under the Angling 2000 scheme, an integral part of the project,
fish habitats and fishing beat income have been improved.
Anglers under the scheme made over 700 fishing visits this
year alone and the angling database now holds around 2100
participants, 40 percent of whom visit from outside the Westcountry.
Total token sales are now around £14,000 annually; all
of which is returned to the beat owner as an incentive for
continued management of the land in a way that maximizes benefits
to the fishery. Between Angling 2000 and uptake of recommendations
for new or improved tourism enterprises on farms, an estimated
income of £381,510/year is attributed to CRP advice,
including increased off-farm income to the Cornish economy.
Investment to continue the nationally acclaimed Angling 2000
scheme is presently being sought to continue the programme
in future years.
For further information please contact Gillian Dixon of Westcountry
Rivers Trust on 08707 740704 or email: email@example.com.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in the Cornwall Rivers Project
through the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund
Anyone considering a new horticulture, food and
land based industries project is advised to speak with Maria
Ford, at Government Office South West on 01752 635015 before
commencing development as there are now only limited funds
available due to the successful uptake of funding by the agricultural
sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
For further information on the Cornwall Rivers Project, see
the Trust website www.cornwallriversproject.org.uk.
The Westcountry Rivers Trust remains dedicated to protecting
and preserving threatened species and habitats, and maintaining
healthy riparian systems. If you would like to support their
work, Membership costs only £24 per year. For further
information about the Trust, and for Membership details please
contact the Westcountry Rivers Trust at: 10 Exeter Street,
Launceston, PL15 9EQ. Telephone: 08707 740704. www.wrt.org.uk.
Project catchments: Caerhays, Camel & Allen, Cober, Fal
& Tresillian, Fowey & Lerryn, Gannel, Inny, E &
W Looe, Lynher & Tiddy, Menalhyl, Mevagissey, Neet &
Strat, Ottery, Seaton, and St Austell Stream.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439