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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
RPS Clouston (RIaS) was instructed by the Environment Agency on 19th August 1997 to evaluate ,the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries. and.Foodas pilot scheme, the Water Fringe :Option Scheme (WFOS), .and- how the scheme fulfils the Agencyas duties and objectives. 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. The Water Fringe Option Scheme is a component of the Habitat Scheme was 1994. Its objective is to encourage farmers to enhance protect the wildlife habitat value of watercourses and adjacent land. It been piloted in six areas in England each with specific pressures within catchment and.and has the Under the WFOS farmers may enter eligible land into-.tbree management options:-. withdraw strips. of land Tom agricultural -production for 20 years (Option 1); alter the. existing management to a. extensive grassland management for 10 years (Option 2); or raise water levels on land entered into Option l-or Option 2. Management-prescriptions under these options are set at a national-level and are inflexible in terms of addressing local concerns or targeting critical .areas. Uptake .of the scheme by- region and--option has varied and a number- of influencing factors have been identified including: the different time period .for. the binding agreement under Option 1 and 2; the method of calculating payment rates and the type of agriculture taking place in the pilot area. 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 forkincreased 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 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 remove the limitations of the WFOS which have impaired its overall success. R and D .Technical Report W 165 i Key Words Agri-Environment Scheme, Water Fringe Option Scheme (WFOS), Habitat Scheme, Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), Environment Agency (Agency), Diffuse Pollution, Water Quality, Flood Defence and Water Resources. R and D Technical Report W165 1i...
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: Water quality; Diffuse pollution; Agri-environment scheme; Water fringe option scheme (wfos); Habitats; Countryside stewardship scheme (css); Government departments; Fisheries and food (maff); Environment Agency; Flood defence and water resources
Extent: 66
Total file downloads: 12

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