West Wales Rivers Trust are pleased to be working with Ceredigion Council on the Phosphate Reduction and Mitigation (PRAM) Project. This project aims to directly improve the condition of the River Teifi, a designated Special Area of Conservation, by reducing phosphate inputs and improving water quality while protecting our natural heritage – the river, and the salmon, sewin, eels, kingfishers, otters, and other species that inhabit it. This project is funded by the Nature Networks Programme which is being delivered by the Heritage Fund, on behalf of the Welsh Government.

A range of both urban and rural land-use projects are being delivered through this project, but in this blog we will be discussing the farm work elements that we are carrying out.

West Wales Rivers Trust have recently carried out ‘Farm Infrastructure Assessments’ on 12 farms along the River Teifi. These assessments are confidential, and, coupled with the follow up reports, provide advice to how farmers on how they can improve their yards to benefit river water quality, while also saving them money, such as by reducing volumes of waste that need to be spread and on-yard clearance.

We are now busy working with 9 of these farms and our local contractor to deliver a number of identified farmyard improvements, including:

  • The replacement or installation of guttering and gullies to reduce clean water entering slurry stores;
  • Covering of downpipe drains to reduce clean water entering slurry stores;
  • The construction of ‘sleeping policemen’, concrete bunds which separate clean water from dirty water yards and vice versa;
  • The provision of new roofing materials to fix broken roof panels and reduce clean water inputs into dirty water systems;
  • The provision of rainwater harvesting tanks; and
  • Areas of hard-standing and concreting to maintain clean water yards.
An example of new guttering installed on a farm barn (stock photo due to confidential nature of works)

Alongside the farmyard improvements, we are also working with Ceredigion Council and local contractors to deliver 9km of riparian fencing along the Teifi and its tributaries this Autumn, to reduce livestock poaching of banksides and create buffer zones to benefit river habitat and water quality.

An example of a newly delivered fencing scheme where vegetation will be allowed to establish along the riverbank.

 Thank you to all of the farmers working with us on these projects, as well as to Ceredigion Council and the funders the Nature Networks Programme which is being delivered by the Heritage Fund, on behalf of the Welsh Government.