Improving water quality

Monday 12th March 2018

Daniel Roberts and Jess NottDaniel Roberts and Jess Nott

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust has welcomed two new team members as part of a partnership with Severn Trent Water to improve water quality in the county.

Jess Nott and Daniel Roberts have joined the Trust as Catchment Partnership Agricultural Advisors and will work with landowners in the catchment areas of the rivers Teme and Severn to help improve the quality of the water that runs into two of the county’s major watercourses. The project is funded by Severn Trent Water as part of their obligation to meet European water quality standards.

The advisors will work with landowners to reduce the risk of pesticide run-off into our water courses, which impacts on drinking water quality, water bills as well as wildlife and the natural environment.

Daniel Roberts explained “We’re really excited to get this project at a time when water quality is being brought into the public light. Diffuse water pollution is a pressing issue for all wildlife that rely on the freshwater food-chain to survive.

“It’s also a problem for people – pesticides and nitrates in water courses can affect drinking water, can increase our water bills because of the cost of removing contaminants.”

Daniel graduated in Ecology from Bangor University where he also gained an MSc in Wetland Science and Conservation. He established a Student Wetland Society, which gained global affiliation with an international research group, whilst raising awareness of the pressures wetlands face to students and the public. He has since worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) at Forsinard, one of the largest conservation and restoration projects in the UK.

Jess Nott, originally from a Worcestershire farming family, graduated from Countryside and Environmental Management at Harper Adams University and has worked in both farming and ecology. She also has a PGCE and spent time teaching in a primary school where she helped to inspire young children about the wonders of life in underwater.

Jess commented “Coming from a farming background, I’m particularly aware of the challenges faced by farmers and how seriously farmers take their environmental responsibilities.

“As well as offering advice, there is also an available grant of up to £5000 to help each farmer in our target areas to complete capital works, help reduce any pollution and undertake water quality monitoring.

“We’d encourage any interested landowners to get in touch with us to see how we can work together.”

Severn Trent Water are funding seven officers across Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Shropshire and parts of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. They will be based within catchments of Avon and Leam, Shropshire Middle Severn, Worcestershire Severn, Teme, Middle Severn and associated groundwater zones.