Topsoil Project – an introduction

Topsoil is made up of two local projects (one in Essex and another in Suffolk) part of a wider European collaboration between 26 partners in 5 countries. Our projects are in areas where the land use is predominately arable so we will be working with farmers to help come up with new or improved ways to build on the great work they are already doing around soils and water. We aim to help farmers maintain and improve their soils so they can be more productive and have less impact on the wider environment and to manage water quality and availability within the agricultural landscape.

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Project Topsoil – Layer Brook and Abberton Reservoir

Essex & Suffolk Water, who own and manage Abberton Reservoir, have noticed a rapid reduction in the abundance of submerged plant life in the reservoir close to where Layer Brook flows in. Investigations have so far failed to explain the loss of plant life but have identified an increased build-up of sediment from Layer Brook.

The Topsoil project aims to bring greater certainty to the sources and effects of sedimentation in the reservoir.

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From field to fish – water on the farm

Field drainage is once again becoming an issue of interest to farmers, with most existing systems being over 50 years old. Some work perfectly, but others have fallen into disrepair leading to reductions in crop yields and water logging. With farm margins under pressure many are considering improving drainage to recover some of their lost yield.

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