Oxfordshire Livestock Project

The Oxfordshire Livestock project, led by Wild Oxfordshire and funded by the Environment Agency, brought partners from across Oxfordshire to work on delivering Water Framework Directive improvements by working directly with farmers.

During 2016/17, the River Thame Conservation Trust (RTCT) was funded to deliver farm advice to livestock farmers across the Oxfordshire part of the Thame catchment. The overriding aim of the project was to reduce diffuse pollution and sediment input into watercourses from livestock farming. The intention was to ensure that funding was spent to aid delivery of on the ground improvements, but there was an underlying theme of building long lasting relationships with landowners and farmers to ensure a sustainable approach.

The project was phased and included surveys, one to one farm visits, project design and project implementation.

During the project RTCT worked with 5 farmers from across the Oxfordshire Thame. Overall nearly 600m of fencing was erected, 10 pasture pumps and 1 solar power drinker were bought as alternative drinking sources, 3 livestock crossing points were stabilised and 2 drinking bays were fenced off.

We will be carrying on our work with farmers throughout the catchment over the coming years to reduce the impacts of livestock on the River Thame and its tributaries.

Cattle drinks like this can cause excess sediments to enter watercourses which can smother fish eggs and freshwater invertebrates. Phosphate binds to soil particles and therefore runoff of soils can increase phosphate concentrations too.

The project also part funded alternative drinking sources like this pasture pump