BRICs is a research project that is taking an innovative approach to managing natural resources in the area, benefitting both communities and businesses in the locality.
What is BRICS?
BRICS is a project that will:
- Improve water, nutrient and habitat management on farms
- Reduce the level of nutrients entering the Milford Haven Waterway
- Create a nutrient trading scheme
- Give potential for future investment opportunities in Pembrokeshire
BRICS will achieve this by:
- Providing expert advice, guidance and support to farmers
- Delivering nutrient focused advisory plans (for up to 30 farms)
- Helping to secure funding for targeted nutrient soil mapping, precision farming and where applicable constructed farm wetlands
- Developing a framework for creating an enterprise capable of running a nutrient based trading scheme that is able to:
- pay land managers for undertaking actions that benefit the natural environment beyond regulatory requirement and
- secure sustainable economic development and future investment opportunities
Why are we doing this?
The water in the Milford Haven Waterway and the surrounding Pembrokeshire Marine Special Area of Conservation contains too much nitrogen and phosphorus. This means it fails to meet statutory water quality standards and the nutrient enrichment threatens important and protected wildlife and their habitats.
It also means that the waterway is considered “full” with no capacity to accept any additional input of nutrients, which is a potential barrier to any future development.
The BRICS approach is about preventing pollution from getting into watercourses rather than relying on ‘end of pipe’ solutions, like water treatment, while delivering other benefits for the economy and environment.
BRICS takes a wider view of the environment and considers relationships between the environment and the people managing it. This is an example of Sustainable Management of Natural Resources (SMNR). Building resilience into catchments and the way they are managed means they will be better able to stand the effects of a changing climate and increased pressure and demands on land and river management.
The project will benefit farms, economically as well as environmentally, creating a business leader culture.
How will we know if it is working?
We believe that farmers deserve credit for doing good things. A lot of small actions can add up to a big difference.
One of the project partners, RDK ADAS, will use their decision support software tool called “Farmscoper”, to quantify the reduction in diffuse pollutant losses from farms that are taking part in the project. We will also model potential additional reductions in pollutant losses that could be achieved by undertaking further actions that go over and
above regulatory requirements. Setting up a nutrient trading scheme provides a mechanism for farmers to be paid for land management practices that deliver additional environmental benefit.
Where will it be happening?
We are focussing on three areas across Pembrokeshire:
Working in these 3 diverse river sub-catchments, the project will test a voluntary approach to deliver nutrient focused pollution prevention advisory plans, highlighting opportunities and recommending actions to improve water and soil management on farms.
Who is involved?
The project partners include supply chain, land managers, industry, conservation organisations, farming unions, Welsh Water, farming cooperatives, authorities, Natural Resources Wales and communities working together to build resilience into farm businesses. At the same time, the project will be contributing to sustainable economic development.
BRICS was developed and is funded through the Sustainable Management Scheme which is part of the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
This project has received funding through the Sustainable Management Scheme – Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
A delivery framework for a Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES)
based nutrient trading scheme for the Milford Haven and Cleddau
Work Package 1 shows the drivers for nutrient trading in the Milford Haven/Cleddau Catchment and describes the structure for a PES
1. The range of different schemes, drivers for implementation, costs and benefits.
2. Implementation structures – who operates the scheme, how it is managed, operating costs, connections to permits and planning conditions, how it is regulated, compliance monitoring, perpetuity of agreement to secure measure, long term sustainability.
3. Structure should clarify, minimise and manage risks to all parties involved.
Work Package 2 describes how to quantify a measured reduction of nutrients over a determined time frame, the management actions that will be used to achieve the reductions, and how these actions will fit alongside any relevant regulation and emerging policies.
1. Scientific basis for assessment of measurements for nutrient reductions for both landowner conservation management measures and developer site activities requiring offsetting.
2. Examples of management actions to reduce nutrients and confidence in measurement of reduction.
3. An assessment of why current land management practices to reduce nutrients are undertaken / not undertaken to guide any recommended
4. UK / EU legislative frameworks and how the scheme would fit into existing regulations.
2. Financials – how the project will be financially supported during implementation.
3. Robust business case for long term project sustainability and exit strategy from public sector seed funding.
Work Package 4 incorporates the three previous work packages to produce a robust development plan for the Milford Haven/CleddauCatchment while considering the ability to scale or replicate the approach where appropriate.
1. Developed in close liaison with the BRICs key stakeholders a final project report will be produced taking into account WP deliverables 1,2, and 3 which will form the basis of how to take the project into operation.