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Title: Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Water Fringe Option Scheme on Environmental Quality
Author: M Lawman
Author: C Pearson
Author: J Steele
Author: Environment Agency
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_479, Representation ID: 577, Object ID: 1818
The Water Fringe Option Scheme (WFOS) is a component of the Habitat Scheme and was launched in 1994. Its objective is to encourage farmers to enhance and protect the wildlife habitat value of watercourses and adjacent land. It has been piloted in six areas in England each with specific pressures within the catchment. The appraisal of the WFOS involved three interactive stages: Stage I being a detailed literature review using external and internal libraries; Stage II involved discussions and meetings with appropriate Government bodies and NGOs; and Stage III involved field visits to selected pilot areas. In terms of fulfilling the Agencyls objectives, the extensification options available under the WFOS may benefit the Agency, in particular improving water quality and the water fringe habitat. However, significant changes in water quality would require substantial areas of land along the main channel and headwaters to be entered into the scheme. The potential for increased biodiversity of wetland fringes is unclear as different species will gain different benefits from the options. Consultation between the Agency and other organisations is essential to target the location of WFOS sites and ensure their appropriate management. Generally, water quality is not included in the primary objectives of other agri-environment schemes. However these schemes do contain a range of management prescriptions which have the potential to reduce water pollution from agricultural sources. Proposals have been made to incorporate elements of the WFOS into the Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS). This may lead to a change in its design and management and remove the limitations of the WFOS which have impaired its overall success.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: Water qualityDiffuse pollutionAgricultural pollutionNature conservationHabitatsFreshwater ecologyGovernment departmentsFisheriesFlooding
Extent: 66
Total file downloads: 292

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