These are photos we took on a Natura 2000 river (Lower River Suir cSAC) during April 2015. It is incredible that this level of filamentous algae growth was apparent – in April, not to mind the siltation. This shows the impact of agriculture on our Natura 2000 rivers.
Under current regulations there is no exclusion zone for cattle from our rivers and streams and lakes. We need a 5m buffer zone (minimum) between our rivers and agriculture. Indeed, there have been calls for a 10m buffer to be provided. Cattle need to be kept away from our rivers and streams and provided with pumped water. It is clear that a river should never look like it does in the photos above – especially a Natura 2000 river in April.
For further reading please see the following document, which was prepared to encourage more sustainable farming practices in the Suir catchment:-
- Guidance for the farming community on protection of water resources and habitat quality from impacts due to livestock access to waters
Furthermore, see this news report about a novel new method being introduced to address this problem, and it is clear that we need more initiatives like this in Ireland.
We are experts in water quality protection at both local and catchment levels so please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you require any further information. Also, you can visit our main website at www.ecofact.ie.