The Cheddar Axe Project

The Cheddar Axe Project is working with Bristol Water to reduce diffuse agricultural pollution and improve habitats in the catchments above the Cheddar Reservoir and the Axe at Brinscombe.

Many of Somerset’s rivers have poor water quality because of nutrients, sediment and pesticides coming from farmland. The best and most cost-effective place to tackle these issues is at their source and keeping soil and nutrients in the field where they are needed is also key to farm profitability. Bristol Water with FWAG SW are keen to work with farmers to help achieve this as part of their Investment on the Environment Programme.

This is being achieved through a programme of farm visits delivering advice on soil management, free soil analysis, nutrient and manure management plans and farm infrastructure audits. Farm specific advice on appropriate Environmental Stewardship schemes options is available from FWAG SW staff.

Bristol Water have a small grants scheme funding measures to reduce diffuse pollution and improve the environment in the catchment, these include hedge planting, watercourse fencing concreting yards and post-harvest maize management with an autumn grass reseed to a festulolium mix.

The project started in 2020 and so far has worked with 14 farmers across the project area.

Watercourse Fencing:

Project Area: