Soil washing away

Wheatonrotty

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
MK43
With the Gt. Ouse having made the national news for flooding round Bedford, there are various photos popping up on local groups showing the extent of the floods.
What stuck me was the colour of the water and how much soil must be washing away.
The 2 pics are both of the ouse, one last summer and one inthe last few days. Be nice to think it would focus a few more minds on reducing soil movement.
IMG_20200705_110705.jpg
FB_IMG_1609104817807.jpg
 

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
With the Gt. Ouse having made the national news for flooding round Bedford, there are various photos popping up on local groups showing the extent of the floods.
What stuck me was the colour of the water and how much soil must be washing away.
The 2 pics are both of the ouse, one last summer and one inthe last few days. Be nice to think it would focus a few more minds on reducing soil movement. View attachment 929782View attachment 929783
I was thinking exactly the same, watching the news last night: it's shocking how much soil is being lost, although I guess the flooded fields will gain a bit when the water eventually goes. Unfortunately, if you look at the reaction on the River Lugg threads in the Agricultural Matters section of this forum, you'll 'learn' that it isn't the fault of the farmers upstream for losing their soil, but those idiots at the EA for not dredging it out of the rivers often enough.
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
With the Gt. Ouse having made the national news for flooding round Bedford, there are various photos popping up on local groups showing the extent of the floods.
What stuck me was the colour of the water and how much soil must be washing away.
The 2 pics are both of the ouse, one last summer and one inthe last few days. Be nice to think it would focus a few more minds on reducing soil movement. View attachment 929782View attachment 929783

the irony is that farmers and farming organisations blame the EA for not dredging

little consideration as to how the slit gets there

under polluter pays legislation this is going to get VERY expensive for root and maize growers or those that love their ploughing
 
Last edited:

Devon James

Member
Location
Devon
I agree it's bad pr for farming that there are scenes like this. Just a couple of points, in heavy cloudbursts like we had in this area last week, the amount of soil and debris gouged out of the roadside hedgerows was staggering. Neat soil washed straight off the road. Damage to tracks also.
Building sites, which are growing in number, unprotected soil getting washed right off the site and into the road and a quick path into the nearest river.
Also, the advice and direction from the EA and others on soil management isn't very clear. So if they are advising farmers on best techniques to reduce soil erosion and we are still getting these events, they need to change their agenda as well
 

cvx175

Member
Location
cumbria
The main source of silt getting in the river here isn't off the field its the fallen trees and rubbish in it that we are under no circumstances allowed to remove according to the EA water is going round them and washing the banks away
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
I was thinking exactly the same, watching the news last night: it's shocking how much soil is being lost, although I guess the flooded fields will gain a bit when the water eventually goes. Unfortunately, if you look at the reaction on the River Lugg threads in the Agricultural Matters section of this forum, you'll 'learn' that it isn't the fault of the farmers upstream for losing their soil, but those idiots at the EA for not dredging it out of the rivers often enough.
Heres a sort of an 'Americanised dummed down ' version of a subject that was covered in Geography at school.

.
Well it was at ours anyway.
 

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
Heres a sort of an 'Americanised dummed down ' version of a subject that was covered in Geography at school.

.
Well it was at ours anyway.
Many thanks, yes, I did geography at school too. Love all this stuff. I know you don't believe that all the silt in our rivers comes from erosion of the banks or air bubbles breaking up the granite in the headwaters, so I won't bother insulting your intelligence. Choose to believe in what you like: the tooth fairy, Father Christmas, it doesn't make much difference to what's actually happening.
 

Ruston3w

Member
Location
south suffolk
I once bought a pair of old draglines from a farm south of Sailsbury who had, no doubt for centuries, "harvested " silt by allowing their meadows to flood then settle then flood again all winter. I didn't know it was ever done as a routine task rather than just accidental. We are at the end of a brook which runs through a few miles of undulating sandy land and is full of silt in the winter and could easily "trap" some of the silt whilst we wait for the compulsive super-tillers up-stream to see the light. The EA and others I spoke to were horrified at the thought as it would change the nature of our water-meadows and I would be potentially gaining something that couldn't be quantified.
Lots of small projects could help with some of these problems but it seems the EA only get excited by big flag waving exercises, particularly when it's their idea.
Richard.
 

Y Fan Wen

Member
Location
N W Snowdonia
As you know I live in the headwaters of a mountain river system. Nothing disturbs the ground cover except footpaths and quad tracks and yet the beck runs brown in any flood, brown with peat, which lines the interior of the turbine penstock to nearly quarter of an inch.
Inside the bucketwheel box it can build up to more than an inch in corners and a 32mm pipe which carries water to sheds and garden and runs constantly has to be flushed out every summer or the peat will block it completely.
 

PMD

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Shocking isn't it. This satalite image sums it up well seeing how much soil the uk is loosing I believe its around 2 million tons of top soil per year
View attachment 929812
With respect this silt isn't all agricultural run off being exhausted into the sea by rivers
 

Villagefarmer

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
East Yorkshire
With respect this silt isn't all agricultural run off being exhausted into the sea by rivers
True there is natural soil ersion on the East coast near me which has been happening since the last ice age but the silt that clogs up the Humber and our IDB I believe comes from cultavated farm land with little or no ground cover either from trash or plants to hold the soil particles together.
 

PMD

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lincolnshire
True there is natural soil ersion on the East coast near me which has been happening since the last ice age but the silt that clogs up the Humber and our IDB I believe comes from cultavated farm land with little or no ground cover either from trash or plants to hold the soil particles together.
I agree with you Jonathan, and the main observation from the map is that Autumn run off appears to be most prolific in areas producing Autumn/Winter cropping (maize, beet, potatoes, veg). Simple improvements like undersowing maize goes a long way to improving run off. I see no reason why sowing a cover crop in the wheelings of row crops shouldn't be implemented either. It would improve field traffic conditions, plant biodiversity and help rebalance the pest/predator insect population. Why anyone would let such valuable land wash away is a mystery to me? But as the supermarkets say, when it's gone, it's gone - and they know a thing or two about devaluing something precious.
 

teslacoils

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
And of course to the the North LIncs / South Yorks TFF members the best silt lands were formed by warping drains. So important rights were included in Parliamentary Enclosure Acts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warping_in_agriculture

https://www.bahs.org.uk/AGHR/ARTICLES/62_1_Smith.pdf

If you're seriously into some land history, look into how the "dry warped" the land around Lindolme. The excavated the silt, carted it by wagon, and levelled it a foot deep. EA would have shat themselves.
 

New report underlines need for joined-up action to protect rivers

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New report underlines need for joined-up action to protect rivers

Written by Defra Press Office

A wide river is in view in a valley in the background, a drystone wall is behind the river, and large, green trees are prominent in the scene.


The Rivers Trust has today launched its State of Our Rivers report aiming to allow the English public understand and explore the health of their rivers on a national and local scale.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow and Environment Agency Director John Leyland attended the launch panel to discuss the ways in which the...
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