Slug It Out, Anglian Water’s agricultural trial focused on not using metaldehyde based slug pellets on land surrounding drinking water reservoirs was launched on the 10th May at Rutland Water with an event attended by some of the local farmers involved and their agronomists. There was an introduction to the trial, a technical agronomy session and a case study from a farmer involved in the trial at Grafham Water last year. The feedback was very positive with all those in attendance interested in participating in the trial.
As the Catchment Advisor for Rutland Water, I will be working closely with Rutland Water’s ‘natural catchment’ farmers in the next few months. This includes all the farmers who mange land that freely drains into Rutland Water reservoir either directly or via the River Gwash (7500 hectares in total). It is a key area of focus for catchment management due to the direct influence the land has as water makes its way through the landscape into the reservoir.
With a farming background myself and experience working with farmers around Grafham Water (Cambs) and Ravensthorpe (Northants) I understand the challenges faced by farming in close proximity to a drinking water reservoir and indeed the need to control slugs in arable crops, as these pests can cause severe damage if left unchecked, but believe that with the water and farming industries working together there are practical approaches to these problems and results that can be achieved which benefit all.