Protecting water and promoting farmland biodiversity high on the agenda on MP visit to Research Farm

Angela Smith, Member of Parliament for Penistone and Stocksbridge, visited Bayer CropScience’s research farm near Cambridge this week to discuss the key topics of protecting water courses and promoting farmland biodiversity.

Ms Smith MP, who is the Shadow Water, Fisheries and Animal Welfare Minister met with Alice Johnston and Dr Julian Little from Bayer CropScience, and Ralph Grindling, Farm Manager from nearby College Farm. She was shown around the farm, where Bayer’s latest innovations are trialled in the field, and where enhancements to the field margins have been made to promote greater on-farm biodiversity.

“Agriculture is a vitally important industry in the UK, yet many people do not know the level of complexity involved in getting food to their table. It was good to explain how productive farming can run side-by-side with biodiversity,” explained Alice. “Combining this with a discussion on the need to protect water courses with the use of specialised biobeds certainly made this visit an especially useful one.”

Ms Smith MP remarked, “Protecting water in the agricultural landscape is critical to our environment. The use of biobeds such as the Phytobac to process pesticide sprayer washings and residues removes an important potential point of water contamination. It was interesting to see how water protection, enhancing biodiversity and food production can be successively managed in the same landscape”.

The Phytobac system is a next-generation biobed which deals with sprayer washings that are a potential source of water pollution, in a simple and effective way. The biobed naturally degrades contaminants as they pass through a soil and straw biomix. The use of Phytobacs is supported by Natural England’s Catchment Sensitive Farming:

The picture shows Angela Smith MP (right) with Alice Johnston of Bayer CropScience

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