Wye Talk: Soil and Water with Simon Evans (Wye Valley River Festival)

Event: Wye Talk: Soil and Water with Simon Evans (Talk and meal)

Date: Thursday, 8 May 2014 from 19:00 to 22:00, The Babington Centre (Trellech Village Hall). For more details click HERE.

A most timely debate – join Simon Evans (Deputy Director of The Wye and Usk Foundation) to explore the issues of soil erosion, its impact upon our river wildlife and its links with water management and flooding. Simon will talk about how the problem has arisen, what Wye and Usk Foundation is doing and what WE can do as a society to change it.

Talk followed by open discussion, then a delicious locally sourced seasonal meal by Susan Flower. Licensed bar.

Presented in partnership with the Babington Centre, the Burning Issues Forum and the Wye and Usk Foundation.

“To forget our soil is to forget ourselves” Ghandi

In the drive for more convenient food, agriculture is eroding our soils at an alarming rate and exacerbating flooding. In one six day spate last year over 500,000 tonnes of Herefordshire soil left for the sea, that is over 16,000 trucks worth!  This is happening to a greater of lesser effect on every spate. Livestock farmers are losing soil at 3-4 times the natural rate. For maize or potatoes crops you can treble that. Most of topsoil lost ends up in the rivers. This loss affects our farming, our river habitats and our water management.

Once in the rivers the lost soil in-fills the gravels, wiping out the invertebrate communities and reducing the prospects for fish.   We are losing so much topsoil as the soils are compacted and unable to soak up rainfall. The water that rushes off not only takes the soil but also contributes to the ‘local flooding’ problem so loved by BBC weather presenters…Had you heard the term ‘local flooding’ before we really started abusing our soils in the 1990’s?

If we change how the land is farmed to take soils into account, we retain water in the landscape, farming is more productive and flooding is reduced and we have water when it stops raining reducing the severity of droughts.

“Man has only a thin layer of soil between him and starvation”  Anonymous

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