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What is Eden DTC?

What is the River Eden Demonstration Test Catchments Project?

The River Eden Demonstration Test Catchments (Eden DTC) project is developing a large-scale research platform to test measures for reducing diffuse pollution from agriculture. It will consider the impacts and effects on both ecosystems and sustainable production. It starts in spring 2010 and lasts initially for four years. There are currently two other Demonstration Test Catchments, one in the Hampshire Avon and one in the River Wensum. These catchments  have been selected for their variable geographical, geological, climate and agricultural land use.  They are also priority ECSFDI catchments.

The project is providing research on a national scale to help Defra to policies on water quality in relation to agriculture,  It will:

  1. Provide information on measures to improve the effectiveness of Environmental Stewardship for resource protection.
  2. Improve our confidence in schemes like Catchment Sensitive Farming and help us to understand how to optimise them to reduce diffuse pollution. 

The project is taking a whole-farm perspective and will be testing combinations of novel and existing diffuse pollution mitigation measures (including some environmental stewardship options) and monitoring their effect on water quality, biodiversity, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, other ecosystem services and maintaining productive and sustainable farm businesses.

The project is taking a novel approach by developing ‘communities’ of practitioners that link researchers, policy-makers, delivery bodies (e.g. EA, NE, Rivers Trusts etc), farmers, advisors, water companies, NGOs etc.  These communities will share knowledge to develop common approaches to tackling diffuse water pollution.

The four main aims of the project are to provide:

  • Evidence on the success of measures
  • Understanding the scale at which measures need to be applied and at which results are seen
  • Understanding the complexity of interacting factors
  • Developing a result based approach that is effective across the country

How to get involved

  1. If you are working in one of the DTC catchments, we would like to invite you to become involved in local stakeholder groups. These are advising consortia on monitoring strategies and which measures to test and where.  They are also helping to facilitate linkages with local organisations and farmers. We want your help to:
  • Advise on which measures to apply and where
  • Help manage relationships with farmers
  • Help influence ELS and HLS option uptake within experimental areas
  • Help to secure additional local funding for measures
  • If you are working outside the DTCs there will still be opportunities to get involved.  Throughout the project we will be organising workshops and demonstration events to share the information that is being assembled.  We are also keen to hear your ideas on novel measures to test, approaches for working with farmers etc.

What can you get out of it?

  1. The opportunity to influence national policy on the future of agri-environment schemes, CSF etc
  2. The opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience with a wide range of research scientists and on the ground practitioners
  3. The DTC consortia have resources to help deliver advice to farmers.
  4. They may also be able to help you to target work

For further information, please contact:

Defra: Dan McGonigle ( Bob Harris (

Eden: Phil Haygarth ( David Oliver (

Hampshire Avon: Adrian Collins (

Wensum: Kevin Hiscock ( Andrew Lovett (

Text from Defra.