Rivers are vital to the work that we do, and we know they’re at the centre of communities all across our region too.
Our teams work every day to protect and enhance the health of our watercourses, but we also know we need to do more – and that’s why we have committed, with our neighbours at Severn Trent Water, to five Get River Positive pledges to transform river water quality.
Farming has a big impact on water quality, and like us, farmers need healthy rivers to help manage their land. This is especially true in our region, which is the breadbasket of the UK. The East of England’s Fens alone have more than half of the UK’s most fertile land, with agriculture providing a fifth of the nation’s crops and a third of its vegetables.
Our New Deal for Farmers supports our third Get River Positive commitment – to support others to improve and care for rivers, through two new partnership offers, as well as continuing to offer our own support, to encourage farmers to adopt regenerative farming practices.
What is regenerative farming?
Regenerative farming is a set of farming practices that seek to improve soil quality and mitigate the effects of climate change
We know that farmers and the agricultural industry want to look after our natural environment by finding innovative ways to farm. But we also know that increasing pressure on agriculture make this difficult – as does the uncertainty of trying something new. That’s why we want to help make it easier for farmers to protect the environment, without worrying about the extra cost.
Regenerative farming is a sustainable way of managing farmland, which makes it more prepared to cope with the impacts of economic and environmental threats compared with traditional high- yield methods. The New Deal for Farmers is a way to invest in long-term sustainability for our region’s long agricultural tradition, while improving the health of our rivers and reducing the risk of flooding
Benefits for farmers:
Lower production costs and increased profit
Better resilience and increased crop yields by up to a third
Increased carbon sequestration
More nutrient dense foods
Benefits for Anglian Water
Improved water quality – protecting our raw water sources from sediment run off and lower use of pesticide and fertilisers
Improved flood resilience and reduced soil erosion
Increased biodiversity and organic soil content
What is our New Deal for Farmers?
Through our Get River Positive and Catchment Management commitments we are partnering with organisations who can help us support farmers reduce risks to raw water quality and improve our regions rivers through sustainable land management. Our partnerships include:
The first partnership with Agreena will help farmers transition to regenerative practices by offering carbon credits, which they can choose to keep for themselves or sell to others.
Trinity Ag-Tech Changes in farm practices intended to benefit soil health, biodiversity and carbon will all have an impact on raw water quality entering surface and ground waters, so we are pleased to have Trinity AgTech and their Sandy platform as one of our New Deal partners.
Working closely with the NFU and CLA to support initiatives and local projects which help promote an efficient and productive agribusiness sector, placing the agricultural sector at the heart of our solutions.
Working with RHIZA and RMA on our Catchment Weather Stations and the free RHIZA connect app - bringing local data (soil and air temperatures, soil saturation, wind speed, evapotranspiration, spray windows, forecasts etc) to help inform land management decisions and raise awareness of land/water connectivity.
Collaboration with others to support actions across the region to improve the water environment, under the Catchment Based Approach - CaBA
Joining other landscape scale interested buyers to support farmers delivering Nature Based Solutions through Landscape Enterprise Networks (LEN's) Landscape Enterprise Networks
The application window for the third round of our Farm Innovation Grant is opening on the 2nd of October 2023. The grant is specifically aimed at supporting new and innovative on-farm projects contributing to finding local solutions to local raw water quality challenges (herbicides, nitrates, phosphates and soil loss) in priority catchments. Last year the fund supported over 45 projects, delivering over £1 million of benefit across the region.